Character Conundrum: Literary Lessons for Pianists in Schumann's Kreisleriana

Robert Schumann's oeuvre owes structural and inspirational credit to the works of numerous German romantic authors. However, some aspects of his literature-inspired compositional style are more often discussed than others.1 Numerous authors have written about the highly fragmented nature of Schumann's piano cycles, including Kreisleriana,...
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The Hidden Life of the Humble Arabesque

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In a letter of July 1910 to Jacques Durand, Claude Debussy announced that, as an artist, he was "accustomed to living among apparitions." Exactly what form those apparitions took is anybody's guess, but some may well have appeared in the form of arabesques, and not always friendly ones at that. Despite the fact that arabesques are so innocuous ...
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Clara Schumann: Role Model for the 21st Century

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Clara Josephine Wieck was born two hundred years ago on September 13, 1819, in the German city of Leipzig. Her father Friedrich chose the name Clara, which meant bright, shining, or famous, and from her birth was determined to turn her into a piano virtuoso. By age eleven, she was touring Europe as a concert pianist, often playing her own compositi...
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From the Artist Bench with Lara Downes

Romances Op. 11 by Clara Schumann Fantasiestücke Op. 12 by Robert Schumann
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Schumann: A Little Piece, Op.68, No.5

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Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Berens: Op. 70, No. 8 & No. 23Christopher Norton: Duet for One (from The Microjazz Collection 1) Czerny: Op. 777, No. 3Konrad Kuhner: School of Etudes, No. 1(right before or after) Schumann: Op. 68, No. 3 Get Ready: creative a...
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Schumann: Knecht Ruprecht, Op. 68, No. 12 ("Knight Rupert")

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Preparation and Presentation  Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Burgmüller Ballade (Magrath Level 4): Provides work on keeping sixteenth notes even in the LH (with RH eighth note chords accompanying them) and also provides work with keeping hands together when playing sixteenth notes. Si...
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From Schumann to Schoenberg

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Cover: Blaues Selbstportrait, 1910 by Schoenberg Breakfast was not a good idea before tackling measures seven and eight that featured sixty-fourth notes and tremolos, as well as a meter shift from 6/8 and 3/8 to 2/4, among other mind-bending directions. Is playing music meant to induce nausea?  At age ten, I took one year of piano lessons. Ado...
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Rhonda Blinne
Interesting article...demonstrating that “age” need NOT be a deterrent is starting (or resuming) music making!
Thursday, 27 August 2020 10:09
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January 12

Johannes Brahms
1864 - Premiere of J. Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann Op. 23, for piano four-hands, in Vienna.  
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Travon Sipes
Right educators should now not train the analysts in a comparable manner they have to exchange their strategy of instructing from ... Read More
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 05:26
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Beethoven goes to Hollywood (and takes a few friends along)

Beethoven goes to Hollywood (and takes a few friends along)
As a faculty member at the East Carolina University School of Music, I frequently taught our Piano Literature sequence. The last time I led these classes, I decided to add a new component to the second-semester schedule: films about pianist-composers. Hollywood through the years has found the artistic life irresistible, and there are quite a f...
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Introducing students to the music of Schumann

Because of the textural, technical, and interpretive demands of music from the Romantic era, students usually do not encounter it until their early intermediate years. Most likely some of the first Romantic compositions a student will study will be by Robert Schumann, whose bicentennial is being celebrated this year. In this issue Sharon Stosur, El...
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The Pedal Piano and the Schumanns

In 1845, Robert Schumann wrote what are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful and enduring pieces of music for the pedal piano, his Six Etudes in Canon Form, Op. 56; Four Sketches, Op. 58; and Six Fugues on the Name B-A-C-H, Op. 60 (for organ or pedal piano). Schumann was an enthusiastic student of counterpoint, and his interest in the pedal piano...
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Robert Schumann and the art of musical composition

Following hard on the heels of the Mendelssohn bicentenary, 2010 marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Schumann (1810-1856), a composer who will surely garner his full share of symposia, concerts, and special events reassessing his place in the European canon. To a large extent, Schumann has fared better in music histories...
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Clara Schumann: Ambivalence and resilience

The lives of Clara and Robert Schumann make great movies.Two exist: Hollywood's "Song of Love" (1947), starring Katherine Hepburn as Clara Schumann and Paul Henreid as Robert, and the German film "Frühlingssinfonie (1983), starring Nastassja Kinski and Herbert Gronemeyer. Both films present what have become typical versions of Clara'...
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What practice strategies would you assign for the "Fantasy Dance" from Op. 124 by Schumann?

from the series: The Other Teacher: Home Practice Elvina Pearce, Editor Over the years I have always found the "Fantasy Dance" of Schumann ("Phantasietanz," No. 5 from the Album Leaves, Op. 124) to be an excellent teaching piece for the early advanced student. Marked presto, it is brilliant, and dramatic - a wonderful "show-off" piece for...
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How Do You Teach Good Tone to Early-Level Students?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique I met an old friend while writing my article for this issue of Keyboard Companion. It was great to renew communication after so many years apart - to hear his ideas and be reminded of his wisdom and his warmth. My friend? Robert Schumann. No, I'm not psychic. But I did feel close, again, to the co...
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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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