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<<  -- 4 --  Robert Anderson    SCHNABEL AND RICHTER

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Schumann's Papillons are certainly not the featherlight creatures that delight our summers as they flit from flower to flower. The title is both more botanical and more literary. Everyone knows how butterflies evolve, and Schumann was fascinated by the idea of transformation. This linked with Jean Paul's Flegeljahre, largely concerned with the events of a masked ball. Jean Paul considered the masked ball as an attempt to make poetry of personal existence and of life as a whole. To complicate matters, two brothers at this literary ball change disguises halfway through, one winning the girl under the semblance of the other.

Dedication of the Op 17 Fantasy to Liszt is not only a recognition of its formidable pianism but a graceful reminder of the work's origin. Liszt toured Europe to raise funds for a Beethoven statue in Bonn, and Schumann wanted to make a contribution. He wrote to the publisher Kistner at the end of 1836 that 'Florestan and Eusebius would very much like to do something for Beethoven's monument, and to that end have composed "Ruinen. Tropaean. Palmen"', which he described as a grand sonata. The work was not published till 1839, but Beethoven's shadow lingered. The last movement was also thought of as 'star picture', which is not so far from 'moonlight'. Richter at his most tender makes the connection [listen -- 5 62960 2 track 7, 0:00-1:26].

Copyright © 14 April 2005 Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt

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Artur Schnabel - Beethoven Piano Sonatas

5 62880 2 ADD Mono COMPILATION (2 CDs) 75'11"/77'46" - TT 152'57" 2004 EMI Records Ltd

Artur Schnabel, piano

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): Piano Sonatas No 21 in C Op 53 'Waldstein'; No 22 in F Op 54; No 23 in F minor Op 57 'Appassionata'; No 24 in F sharp Op 78; No 25 in G Op 79; No 27 in E minor Op 90; No 30 in E Op 109; No 31 in A flat Op 110; No 32 in C minor Op 111

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Schubert and Schumann: Sviatoslav Richter

5 62960 2 ADD Stereo COMPILATION 67'25" 1961, 1963, 2002, 2003, 2004 EMI Records Ltd

Sviatoslav Richter, piano

Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Fantasy in C D760 'Wanderer' (1822); Robert Schumann (1810-1856): Fantasy in C Op 17 (1836); Papillons Op 2 (1831)

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