Robert Schumann (1810–1856) Fantasy Pieces Op. 73
Urtext edited by Joachim Draheim [clar(vl,vc),pno]
The parts for clarinet in A, violin, and violoncello are attached to EB 8794.
44 pages | 23 x 30,5 cm | 180 g | ISMN: 979-0-004-18247-5 | Softcover
Robert Schumann's Phantasiestücke op. 73 were written in 1849 and quickly became popular during the composer's lifetime. Thanks to Joachim Draheim's new Urtext edition, this last important chamber-music work of Schumann's is available from Breitkopf & Härtel once again in its three original scorings.
|1. Soft and with Expression|
|2. Lively, bright|
|3. Quick and with Fire|
In the spring of 1849, the year that the composer later called his “most fruitful,” Robert Schumann began writing a series of chamber works in which he paired the piano with an instrument that had been previously neglected in the repertoire, no doubt to set an example (Fantasiestücke [Fantasy Pieces] op. 73 for clarinet, Adagio und Allegro op. 70 for horn, Fünf Stücke im Volkston [Five Pieces in a Popular Tone] op. 102 for violoncello and Drei Romanzen [Three Romances] op. 94 for oboe; finally, as a kind of “postscript,” the Märchenbilder [Fairy Pictures] op. 113 for viola of March 1851). It was certainly not by chance that he began with the clarinet in February 1849. This instrument had become a favorite of romantic composers since Weber and Spohr, and had already played a considerable role in the orchestral works that Schumann had written up to then. According to the entries in the Haushaltbuch (household accounts), in the composer’s copy3, and in the autograph, the three Fantasy Pieces op. 73 – they were still called “Soiréestücke” in the autograph – were written in Dresden between 11 and 13 February 1849. On 18 February, Clara Schumann and the clarinetist Johann Gottlieb Kotte (1797–1857), a member of the Dresden Hofkapelle, played through the pieces and rehearsed them “with great pleasure.” The composer thoroughly revised the three pieces for the first edition, which was published by Carl Luckhardt in Kassel in July 1849. This edition also prescribed a “violin or violoncello ad libitum” as a replacement for the clarinet. The pieces were reviewed very knowledgeably and enthusiastically in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik in February 1850. The review is still accurate and relevant today:
“Rapturous agitation, now infused with a hint of melancholy, now building up to outbursts of joy – this is clearly the predominant character of the present Fantasy Pieces. The three pieces are self-contained; nevertheless, the composer wishes them to be linked more closely through an attacca. This, along with a number of other elements in the development of each piece, e.g. the prevailing triplet motion and the use of the same key and meter in all three pieces […] consolidates them into a whole and endows them with a unity of atmosphere that seems to derive from a definite intent. With a composer such as Schumann, it is obvious that this uniformity does not lead to monotony. It almost seems as if he were trying to exploit as fully as possible the atmosphere that he created, as if he were pursuing every possible psychological moment within them – and he has truly succeeded. The great variety and freedom of the ideas are all the more admirable as they move about within self-imposed boundaries, as mentioned above. And then there is the splendid manner in which the piano and the clarinet share their statement of the ideas, how they complement one another, how neither one is the absolute lord or servant of the other. One will see that Schumann has once again created a work that occupies a worthy place among the many beautiful works with which he has endowed art.”
Also testifying to the popularity of the work are the arrangements for piano duet by Friedrich Gustav Jansen (1851, revised and authorized by Schumann) as well as for piano solo by Johann Baptist Krall (1868) and Gustav Friedrich Kogel (1877), published by Luckhardt in Kassel and later in Berlin.
Our new edition is based on the widely reliable first edition. Minor errors, inconsistencies and omissions, particularly within the articulations and dynamics, were rectified through a comparison with the autograph, with parallel passages and with the individual parts of the first edition. There is no reason to doubt that discrepancies in the alternative violin and violoncello parts, for example in the articulation, were not authorized by Schumann, even if there are no sources directly confirming this. The metronomic markings are first found in the “new, revised edition” published in 1852 and were no doubt also provided by Schumann, who entertained close business relations with the publisher at this time.
Karlsruhe, Spring 2006
We offer a PDF of the complete text with all notes for download.