Davidsbündlertänze / Faschingsschwank aus Wien / Novellette in F-Sharp Minor
Robert Schumann

Davidsbündlertänze / Faschingsschwank aus Wien / Novellette in F-Sharp Minor

Mia Chung

CCS 9296 - 0723385929628

Information GreatBrittain Germany

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) possessed unusual talents, both musical and literary. As he struggled to express himself with matters such as his love for Clara Wieck or pursuit of artistic excellence, Schumann experienced creative bouts that drew upon one or the other gift, or both, depending on his physical and emotional state. The two gifts maintain an extraordinary relationship, inspiring and informing each other. As blessed recipients of Schumann's creative output, we are privy to the special images, experiences and literary thoughts that animated his music. Davidsbündlertänze, Opus 6 Schumann's ability to target and refine musical character was fueled by boundless imagination. He composed the Davidsbündlertänze, Opus 6 (Dances of the Tribe of David) in the spring of 1837, a complicated time in his romance with Clara. Considered autobiographical in their depiction of Roberts consuming love for Clara and his thoughts of a wedding, the dances display Schumann's reliance on two of his several imaginary companions or muses, Florestan (the extrovert) and Eusebius (the introvert). Eighteen sketches reveal Schumanns complex emotional state: joy as he awaits a reunion with Clara following a prolonged separation and anxiety concerning her fathers resistance to their nuptial union. A motto beneath the title of the original edition discloses the conflicting feelings he experienced: At all times pleasure and grief go together. Keep faith in pleasure, and meet grief with courage. Schumanns idealized pursuit of artistic truth serves an equally important role in the creation of the Davidsbündlertnze. Schumann was a founding member of the Davidsbund, a fraternity of imaginary and real musical progressives that fought against uncultured reactionaries, like David combating the Philistines (hence the title of the work at hand). These miniature canvasses exercise their potency by drawing the interpreter into a private world filled with details that are both fragile and bold. Snappy rhythms, wisps of fragrant air, remote, yet undeniable pangs of sorrow or anxiety, absolutely unburdened joy, even bursts of laughter emerge colorfully. The challenge in performing Schumanns works rests in creating vivid distinctions between these moods and yet maintaining a connection between the multiple facets of his psyche. Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Opus 26 In 1834, Schumann and a number of colleagues formed the Neue Leipziger Zeitschrift für Musik (New Leipzig Journal for Music), which published essays, musical compositions, letters, reviews, and other artistic items intended to further the best in art. During and after a business trip to Vienna for the New Journal, Schumann composed his Carnival Prank, Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Opus 26 (1839). He created the work at Clara's request for performances in Paris. She wrote: Won't you for once compose something brilliant and easy to understand, something that is a complete and coherent piece without special titles, not too long and not too short? He obliged by creating a five movement work that combines pranks with all the standard Schumann features: references to Clara's own music in the Romanze, rollicking humor in the Scherzino, anxiety in the Intermezzo and energetic vigor in the extended sonata-form Finale. Of special note is the prank in the opening Allegro movement, a statement of La Marseillaise, that serves as a greeting to Clara and her French audiences, and as an act of ridicule towards the Viennese government of Metternich which censored the French national anthem due to political tensions. Novellette in F-sharp minor, Opus 21, No.8 Schumann also composed the Novelletten, Opus 21 (1838) for Clara. Implicitly, the title may refer to novelettes or little novelties, but explicitly, the title is a tribute to Clara, who shared her first name with the English soprano, Clara Novello. Typical of Schumann's playfulness, he explained that his Clara's last name, Wieck, would not make a pleasant sounding title as Wiecketten. The Novelletten are seamless tales that, in Schumanns, words portray funny things, Egmont stories, family scenes with fathers, a wedding, in short everything worthy of love. The eighth Novellette, in F-sharp minor, is the most extensive of the set. A variety of sentiments and images appear storm, passion, light-hearted humor, quiet longing, and a voice from the distance all presented in Schumann's inimitable way. Love, inspiration, and a child-like fancy are imbued in every note as literary and musical thoughts joined in harmonious matrimony. Mia Chung

  • 1
    Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6
    I-IX. Lebhaft, Innig, Mit Humor, Ungeduldig, Einfach, Sehr Rasch, Nicht Schnell, Frisch, Lebhaft
  • 2
    Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6
    X-XVIII. Balladenmässig, Einfach, Mit Humor, Wild Und Lustig, Zart Und Singend, Frisch, Mit Gutem Humor, Wie Aus Der Ferne,
  • 3
    Faschingsschwank Aus Wien, Op. 26
    I. Allegro
  • 4
    Faschingsschwank Aus Wien, Op. 26
    II. Romanze
  • 5
    Faschingsschwank Aus Wien, Op. 26
    III. Scherzino
  • 6
    Faschingsschwank Aus Wien, Op. 26
    IV. Intermezzo
  • 7
    Faschingsschwank Aus Wien, Op. 26
    V. Finale
  • 8
    Novellette In F-Sharp Minor, Op. 21, No. 8