“Even for me it is a strange and wonderful fact that almost every motif which forms within me bears the characteristics for multiple contrapuntal combinations”, Schumann wrote to Mendelssohn. 1845 was the year in which Schumann discovered his passion for composing fugues – a passion which he shared with his wife Clara. In joint creative sessions, Schumann composed his works for the pedal piano and his four piano fugues op. 72, which he wanted to be seen as “Character pieces but with a stricter form”, while Clara wrote her “Six Preludes and Fugues”. Even true connoisseurs of Schumann will discover new sides to this accomplished composer in these works.
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- Four Fugues op. 72
On 5 December 1845 Robert Schumann wrote to Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: “I myself find it quite mystifying and wondrous that nearly every motif that crystallises within me carries the potential of multifaceted contrapuntal combinations within it, even though I resolutely do not seek to form themes that would allow the use of the strict style in one manner or the other. It … 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
Il bicentenario della nascita, offre l’opportunità di (ri)scoprire tutti quei lavori di Schumann che, pur non dimenticati, sono studiati o eseguiti di rado. La tedesca Henle propone le Quattro fughe per pianoforte, in una nuova edizione Urtext.
… für Kenner und Liebhaber gibt es hier freilich manche verborgene Schönheit zu entdecken.