The high opus number suggests that it is a late work, yet in reality the work comprises twenty single movements which were composed 10 to 15 years before publication. This means that they were written around the time of Schumann’s early masterpieces such as “Carnaval” op. 8 or the “Romances” op. 28 in the 1830s; but they remained unpublished. Following the tremendous success of the “Album for the Youth” op. 68 in 1848, Schumann’s piano music was once again in high demand. The composer therefore published a second selection of works, enabling him to supplement his earnings. Thanks to this, we have a charming collection of easy-to-play pieces, of which the “Little Lullaby” (no. 6) has become the most famous.
- Level of difficulty (Explanation)
- Other titles with this level of difficulty
- Album Leaves op. 124
Schumann began his career as a piano composer. The first twenty-three works he composed – from the Abegg Variations, op. 1 (1830, pubd. 1832), to the Nachtstücke, op. 23 (1839–40, pubd. 1840) – were written exclusively for the piano. Other piano pieces followed at relatively short intervals: Faschingsschwank aus Wien (“Viennese Carnival Prank”), op. 26, the … 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 Faksimilierung dieses inhaltlich wie optisch wertvollen Autographs erfolgte mit höchster Sorgfalt. Qualität und Umsetzung sind hervorragend, so dass auch dem interessierten Laien gut lesbare und verständliche Details geboten werden. Das sachkundige, umfangreiche und angenehm lesbar formulierte „Nachwort“ von der verdienstvollen Herausgeberin des Schumann-Werkverzeichnisses Margit L. McCorkle trägt nicht nur zur umfassenden Vermittlung bei, sondern rundet den gesamten Band zu einem äußert gelungenen Bild.