Recorded on 07/18/2010, uploaded on 10/19/2011
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
courtesy of the Steans Music InstituteVanitas Vanitatum. Mit Humor; Langsam; Nicht schnell, mit viel Ton zu spielen; Starck und markiertWhile Schumann composed many remarkable pieces for the professional musician, he also contributed to the growing literature of high quality music for the skilled amateur. Such was the purpose of the 5 Stücke im Volkston for Cello and Piano, op. 102. To even further the piece's use, Schumann allowed for the solo cello to be substituted with a violin.As suggested by the use of Volkston ("folk style") in the title, the five pieces of op. 102 are relatively simple in construction and devoid of any overt conflicts. Melody is the primary focus and overall the general character is that of melancholy.The opening piece in A minor, subtitled with a reference to the book of Proverbs, possesses a wry sense of humor. The following piece is set in a pastoral F major with a lyrical melody over a tranquil piano accompaniment and only brief moments of imitation. The middle piece, back in A minor, features lush Romanticism in both its cello and piano writing. The fourth piece opens with a lively melody in D major. It soon, however, is supplanted by an arching, lyrical tune in the upper register of the cello that forms the middle section of the piece. The final piece of the set, a boisterous scherzo-like movement in A minor, features a constant interplay between duple and triple rhythms and brings the piece to an exciting close. Joseph DuBose
The Steans Music Institute is the Ravinia Festival's professional studies program for young musicians.
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