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<<  -- 2 --  Robert Anderson    ENCHANTING SIMPLICITY


With marriage still in the distant future, Schumann was harking back to that year of frustration when the Fantasy was published: 'You can only understand the Fantasy if you go back to the unhappy summer of 1836 when we were separated.' The tender opening to the last movement reinforces the point [listen -- track 3, 0:01-0:57].

The Faschingsschwank, a characteristic carnival work of Schumann's, was mostly written while he was in Vienna and Clara in Paris. So despite an interdict from Metternich, a snatch of the Marseillaise creeps into the first movement. It was a response to a Clara request: 'Listen, Robert, 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?' Perhaps she had a sonata in mind, and that is what Schumann almost wrote. The multiple flats of the Intermezzo make a movement of passionate intensity [listen -- track 7, 0:00-1:14].

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Copyright © 8 May 2004 Robert Anderson, London UK


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