“In the evening we played Robert’s E-flat major Quartet for the first time … and I was once again truly delighted at this beautiful and so youthful work”, enthused Clara Schumann in 1842. In preparation for this work Schumann had studied string quartets by the Viennese Classical composers. This is why all of the parts in the quartet are treated equally, forming a splendid ensemble. Our edition has an extensive critical commentary on account of the difficult source situation. The fold-out page in the cello part was designed with music practice in mind. The piano quartet and the piano quintet op. 44, referred to as “sister works”, were both composed in Schumann’s “chamber music year”.
- Piano Quartet E flat major op. 47
One of the fascinating aspects of Robert Schumann’s artistic evolution is the manner in which he focused on particular genres at certain stages of his career and attempted almost systematically to explore their potential. After publishing only piano music at first, he embarked on the so-called “year of song” in 1840, when he composed more than one-hundred-fifty lieder, … 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
Die von Ernst Herttrich und Ulrich Leisinger herausgegebene Neuausgabe beider Werke (Klavierquartett und Klavierquintett) schließt eine von vielen Musikern empfundene Lücke – eine moderne Urtextausgabe nach aktuellem Stand der Forschung fehlte nämlich bislang. Die Henle-Ausgabe zeichnet sich durch hervorragende Lesbarkeit, durchdachte Wendestellen und angenehme „Griffigkeit“ aus.