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Gypsy's Candles for Robert

Schumann, that is. Why he'd be 200 today if he hadn't treated himself so roughly during his lifetime. There was too much brain inside that guy, methinks. He screwed up his piano performance career by screwing up his ring finger(s). He did meet hi future wife, Clara Wieck during his studies with her father, although the marriage was to happen many many years later. Also, he took on the role of Florestan and Eusebius as part of critic schtick in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, the music journal still in publication today.

candle 1: Carnaval, Op. 9: a piano masterwork by any standard. Schumann begins almost every section with a sort of soggetto cavato, musically representing the town of Asch (A=A, S=E flat, C=C, H=B). Asch was that burg of Schumann's former lover Ernestine von Fricken, and Schumann depict her, Clara Wieck, Florestan and Eusebius, the Davidites and the Philistines, Chopin and Paganinni; you get the gist. Follow Claudio Arrau's 1961 performance in 4 parts on youtube.

candle 2 Dichterliebe, Op. 48 (A Poet's Love) - a song cycle based on Poems by Heinrich Heine. These were composed after Robert and Clara finally tied the knot. Baritone Philippe Sly and pianist Sanaz Sotoudeh perform the 1st 7 lieder in concert at McGill in Montréal.

candle 3 (one to grow on you) Waldszenen (Forest Scene), Op. 82, No. 7 (on same recording as Carnaval). For you bird lovers: hear mvt. 7, Vogel als Prophet (The Prophet Bird) performed by Dame Myra Hess in a 1931 performance.

(tip to Brian Donohue)


 

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