Like many other nineteenth-century musicians, Robert Schumann wanted to settle down in the musical capital of Vienna. Though these plans came to naught, his stay in Vienna in 1839 gave rise to an entire series of valuable works for the piano, including the famous Faschingsschwank aus Wien (“Carnival of Vienna”). Schumann himself called the opus a “romantic spectacle”, and it met with a decidedly warm response from the critics: “Flashes of humor appear at every turn; skyrockets of wit and unbridled merriment soar upwards into the skies from all sides.”
The first public performance had to wait until 1860, after Schumann’s death, when his widow Clara presented Faschingsschwank to a Viennese audience. It was not least through this performance that Schumann's music found a home on the River Danube. The brilliant work has rightly remained in the standard repertoire to the present day.
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In late September 1838, Robert Schumann travelled from Leipzig via Dresden and Prague to Vienna, where he arrived on 3 October. His stay there was not blessed by fate: the negotiations for the publication of his periodical NEUE ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR MUSIK came to naught, and he was virtually unknown in Vienna as a composer. If he could exclaim, in his first letter to Clara, … more
About the composer
Connected with his oeuvre is the term he coined, Poetic Music, with which he strove for a fusion of literature and music, a paradigm particularly seen in his lyric piano pieces prior to 1839. Thereafter he devoted himself to other genres (song, symphony, chamber music, among others).
|1810||Born in Zwickau on June 8, the son of a bookdealer.|
|from 1828||Studies law in Leipzig, piano with Friedrich Wieck. Decision to pursue a career in music.|
|1830–39||He exclusively composes piano works, mostly cycles, including “Papillons,” Op. 2 (1829–32); “Carnaval,” Op 9 (1834/35); “Davidsbündlertänze,” Op. 6 (1837); “Kinderszenen” (“Scenes from Childhood”), Op. 15 (1837/38); “Kreisleriana,” Op. 16 (1838); “Noveletten,” Op. 21 (1838).|
|1832||A paralysis of a finger in his right hand makes a career as a pianist impossible. Founding in 1833 of the fantasy brotherhood the “Davidsbund” (“League of David”).|
|1835–44||Editor of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal of Music).|
|1840||Marriage to Clara Wieck; 138 songs, including the Eichendorff Liederkreis, Op. 39; the song cycle “Dichterliebe,” Op. 48|
|1841||Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major (“Spring” Symphony), Op. 38, and Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120.|
|1842||Three string quartets, Op. 41; further chamber music.|
|1843||Teacher of composition at the Leipzig Conservatory. Oratorio “Paradise and the Peri,” Op. 50.|
|1845||He settles in Dresden. Journey to Russia.|
|1845||Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61.|
|1850||City music director in Düsseldorf. Premiere in Leipzig of his opera “Genoveva,” Op. 81. Symphony in E-flat major (“Rhenish”), Op. 97; Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129.|
|1853||Beginning of his friendship with Brahms. Completion of the Scenes from Faust. Violin Concerto in D minor for Joseph Joachim.|
|1854||Suicide attempt and admission to the psychiatric institution in Endenich, near Bonn.|
|1856||Death in Endenich on July 29.|
About the authors
La casa Henle, de Munich, continúa con su labor a favor de la restauracíon cuidadosa del corpus pianístico de Schumann, en cuadernos sobrios, de trabajo, en los que el aparato crítico apenas se desvela. En este Carnaval de Viena, podemos juzgar las cualidades de esta propuesta con una partitura perfectamente apta para el atril.