Our series of revised Schumann editions continues with this delicately wrought set of variations. “Opus 18 and 19 are frail things for ladies”: thus, with a wink of the eye, Schumann alluded to his wish to become “the favourite composer of every woman in Vienna.” In fact, at this time he was having trouble making headway in Vienna at all, and his dream of settling there with Clara was fading fast. The work takes its distinctive lyrical flavour from the fact that he may have wanted to accommodate the lighter Viennese taste.
- Level of difficulty (Explanation)
- Other titles with this level of difficulty
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 nought, 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
… I turn to Henle Urtext and pick up Schumann’s Blumenstück Op 19 … You can always rely on Henle to produce erudite, elegant Urtext editions with interesting prefaces and fingering … and these are definitively fine, as always.