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Difficulty (Explanation)
Other titles of this difficulty
Novelettes op. 21
Markiert und kräftig op. 21 Heft 1
7 difficult
Äußert rasch und mit Bravour op. 21 Heft 1
7 difficult
Leicht und mit Humor op. 21 Heft 2
8 difficult
Ballmäßig. Sehr munter op. 21 Heft 2
7 difficult
Rauschend und festlich op. 21 Heft 3
8 difficult
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PREFACE

The title Novelletten (“novelettes”) is so familiar to present-day connoisseurs that it is rarely if ever questioned. But what does it actually mean? Today, it is generally considered to refer to short novellas. As with so many titles, Schumann was the first composer to use the term “novelette” at all for a piece of music; later it was adopted by other com- V viction than ... more

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

About the Composer

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Robert Schumann

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).

1810Born in Zwickau on June 8, the son of a bookdealer.
from 1828Studies law in Leipzig, piano with Friedrich Wieck. Decision to pursue a career in music.
1830–39He 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).
1832A 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”).
1835–44Editor of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal of Music).
1840Marriage to Clara Wieck; 138 songs, including the Eichendorff Liederkreis, Op. 39; the song cycle “Dichterliebe,” Op. 48
1841Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major (“Spring” Symphony), Op. 38, and Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120.
1842Three string quartets, Op. 41; further chamber music.
1843Teacher of composition at the Leipzig Conservatory. Oratorio “Paradise and the Peri,” Op. 50.
1845He settles in Dresden. Journey to Russia.
1845Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61.
1850City 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.
1853Beginning of his friendship with Brahms. Completion of the Scenes from Faust. Violin Concerto in D minor for Joseph Joachim.
1854Suicide attempt and admission to the psychiatric institution in Endenich, near Bonn.
1856Death in Endenich on July 29.

© 2003, 2010 Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart

About the Authors

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Ernst Herttrich (Editor)

Dr. Ernst Herttrich, born in 1942 in Würzburg, read musicology, history, German and theology at the universities in Würzburg and Cologne. In 1970 he earned his doctorate in Würzburg with a study of the expression of melancholy in the music of Mozart.

From 1970 to 1990 he was an editor at G. Henle Publishers in Munich, after which he was Head of the Beethoven Complete Edition for over 15 years. In 1999 he took over as Head of the Beethoven-Haus Publishers, and from 2001 was made Head of the Beethoven-Archiv, the research centre at the Beethoven-Haus.

He has been a visiting professor at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo and has undertaken several lecture tours both there and to Kyoto. His research interests include source studies, editorial techniques and music history. Herttrich’s publications include “Beethoven. Liederkreis an die ferne Geliebte” (Bonn 1999) and “Ludwig van Beethoven. Biographie in Bildern” (Bonn, 2000). Herttrich has edited over 100 Urtext editions for G. Henle Publishers.

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Walther Lampe (Fingering)

Prof. Walther Lampe, born in 1872 in Leipzig, died in 1964 in Munich, studied the piano with Clara Schumann at the Hoch’schen Konservatorium in Frankfurt, as well as music theory and composition. He concluded his studies in Berlin, where he was a student of Herzogenberg and Humperdinck.

He first appeared as a concert pianist, but in 1920 was appointed as a professor and head of a class at the Münchener Akademie der Tonkunst. After Lampe was given emeritus status in 1937, he took on a piano class at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Günter Henle, who grew up in Munich, was a private pupil of Lampe’s, from the age of 15 (in 1914). In his autobiography he wrote of his piano teacher in the following glowing terms:

“The years in which Walther Lampe, the renowned pianist and Head of piano master-classes in Munich and Salzburg, instructed me in the higher mysteries of piano playing, are amongst the most treasured memories of my youth. […] Lampe, himself an excellent concert pianist, had the reputation of being one of the leading teachers. Due to his practical experience of many decades he was able to pass on his great knowledge and skill both in words and through his own playing in a highly inspiring and supportive manner. His interpretations of Mozart were positively divine. […] I remain indebted to him for his great artistic suggestions and his friendship, which he shared with me over decades.”

During the first few years of World War II, Günter Henle looked up his old teacher and friend in Munich several times to play music with him. It was self-evident for Günter Henle to inform Walther Lampe of his plans to set up his music publishing house shortly after the end of the war, asking him for his help and advice. Lampe was very actively involved in the first editions: almost all of the Urtext editions published in the early years were supervised intensively by Lampe, a fact which is attested by the comprehensive correspondence in the archives of G. Henle Publishers. And Lampe also contributed his own fingerings to almost all of these editions. It is a very impressive list of titles, which even today still form part of G. Henle Publishers’ core repertoire.

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