Schumaniac?

OK, dear readers, this is one of those I-don’t-have-anything-to-post posts, but since I said I’d post something everyday, here goes.

Robert Schumann.  The most tender and sensual of composers?  Certainly the most tender.  I started students on the Fantasy Pieces and the first movement of the Concerto over the last two days.  So much coor and nuance and emotional complexity to explore.  Bliss, really.  And today I was at a guest lecture on Schumann lieder, and the recorded Dichterliebe excerpts were entrancing;  I haven’t had a big Schumann phase for many years; one is obviously coming on.

There’s no one I’d rather be under the spell of.

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2 responses to “Schumaniac?

  1. The Dichterliebeserved as my “gateway drug” to the Romantic period, and out of the world of only playing baroque music on baroque instruments–which were then only baroque flue and recorder. It sent me on a Heine binge, and I ended up reading everything by him or about him I could get my hands on, as well as everything about and by Schumann. I became a certified Schumaniac.

    The Dichterliebeis one of a handful of truly, deeply satisfying song cycles, where the marriage of the poetry and the music, the piano writing, and the vocal writing, is sublime and eternally fascinating. There is nothing to “prove” it, but I have always felt that Heine wrote the poetry as an answer to Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, not so much for the Müller poetry, but for the way Schubert set it. I think that Schumann understood the connection (though he never wrote anything about it specifically).

    My first Dichterliebewas a recording by Fritz Wunderlich and Hubert Giesen.

  2. My second boyfriend (and my first serious relationship) was a piano major with a Schumann obsession. He was especially crazy, for a while, with the Davidsbündlertänze. While I don’t think Schumann had this in mind, my friend had an extraordinarily explicit erotic program for each movement; in his imagination, Florestan and Eusebius were lovers. And my oh my, they had quite a time of it. (Maybe someone should start an adults-only blog with X-rated programs to classical pieces.; could be a money maker!)

    I think Dichterliebe is going to be my own gateway drug back to Schumann–and the Wunderlich/Giesen recording is extraordinary.

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