Thursday, October 15, 2009

Contest Literature-Schumann Forest Scenes

Who is the composer and where is he from? Robert Schumann 8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856 was a German composer and influential music critic. He is one of the most famous and important Romantic composers of the 19th century. He had hoped to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist, having been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe after only a few years of study with him. However, a self-inflicted hand injury (NOTE this students!) prevented those hopes from being realized, and he decided to focus his musical energies on composition. Schumann's published compositions were all for the piano until 1840. In 1840, after a long and acrimonious legal battle with his piano instructor (Wieck), Schumann married Wieck's daughter, pianist Clara Wieck, who also composed music and had a considerable concert career, including premieres of many of her husband's works. Robert Schumann died in middle age; for the last two years of his life, after an attempted suicide, he was confined to a mental institution at his own request.

What else have they written that we may already know or have heard? My students could not answer this one. One thought maybe he had heard the piano concerto. I guess I have overlooked teaching this composer. There is also Papillons (Butterflies), Carnaval, and Scenes from Childhood repertoire that they may have studied.

What time period is it from? romantic
What about this piece do you like? "It is shorter than some on the list and I probably could memorize it".
What sounds challenging? It's not what sounds challenging per se, but it is advanced in depth of character and the tiny details. It will take a finicky pianist, who is ready to dig into the details.

This recording is all movements, but the competition will use only Entrance AND Hunter in Ambush.

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