Recorded on 09/29/2010, uploaded on 04/08/2011
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
were written in the late summer and early autumn of 1837, when Schumann and
Clara Wieck were able to meet again (her father had previously insisted that
Clara should not see Schumann and that his letters should be returned).
Schumann's League of David was a fictional creation of his, an imagined
society into which he enrolled all right-thinking musicians against the enemy,
dedication of the eighteen character-pieces to Walther von Goethe is from
Florestan and Eusebius, two literary pseudonyms that Schumann chose to
personify the passionate and reflective side of his own character. At the end
of each piece the initial of either Florestan or Eusebius, or occasionally, as
in the first piece, of both, appears, an indication of the intended mood.
At the head
of the work is an old proverb: In all' und jeder Zeit verknüpft sich Lust
und Leid: bleibt fromm in Lust und seyd dem Leid mit Muth bereit.(Always
pleasure and sorrow are joined together: be innocent in pleasure and bear
dance opens with a quotation from a Mazurka by Clara Wieck and is varied in
mood, attributed to both Florestan and Eusebius. The second piece is attributed
to the latter and the third, marked With Humour, to Florestan, the author of
the fourth, marked Impatient. The simple fifth piece is in the mood of
Eusebius, while the sixth, in stormier mood, reverts to Florestan. The opening
arpeggiated chords of the seventh piece reintroduce Eusebius, followed by a
brusque Florestan. The last piece of the first book, marked Lively, carries an
additional explanation: Hierauf schloß Florestan und es zuckte ihm
schmerzlich um die Lippen (Hereupon Florestan stopped and his lips quivered
sadly). Florestan opens the second set of nine pieces in ballad measure, with a
whimsical third piece framing a simple second for Eusebius. The fourth has room
for both moods, with the gently singing fifth for Eusebius. Both are together
again in the sixth piece as they appear to be in the seventh, with its
contrasting slower Trio section, which leads at once to the eighth piece, Wie
aus der Ferne (As from the Distance). For the final dance Schumann adds the
explanation: Ganz zum Überfluss meinte Eusebius noch Folgendes; dabei sprach
aberviel Seligkeit aus seinen Augen (Eusebius considered the following
quite superfluous; but at the same time he expressed much happiness with his
eyes). The last piece adds a gentle C major conclusion to the work.
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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