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Subtlety of touch

Luiza Borac plays Schumann -

Robert Schumann - Kinderszenen - Etudes Symphoniques. Luiza Borac, piano. © 2002 Luiza Borac and John Barnes

Between Op 13 and Op 15 Ernestine had finally been swapped for Clara. In 1838, when Schumann wrote the Kinderszenen, he claimed to have so pressing an urge for composition 'that even if I were cast on to a desert island in the middle of the ocean, I could not stop'. No need for Shakespeare or a bible, just reams of manuscript paper. In March he wrote to Clara about his latest effort: 'some thirty droll little things, from which I have selected a dozen or so and called Kinderszenen. You will enjoy them -- though you will have to forget that you are a virtuoso'. Schumann wrote that they were 'peaceful, tender and happy, like our future'. Clara responded that same March, as quoted in the liner notes: 'To whom have you dedicated your "Scenes"? I cannot imagine that they really belong to anybody else except us both, and I cannot get them out of my head. They are so simple, I feel so comfortable with them, and they are so completely you.' As published, the Kinderszenen have no dedication. Clara comments on many of the pieces: 'for instance in "The Pleading Child" you can imagine how the child pleads with his little hands folded together' [listen -- track 4, 0:00-1:07].

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Copyright © 8 January 2003 Robert Anderson, London, UK


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