Horowitz plays Schumann Kinderszenen Scenes from Childhood

Robert Schumann
Kinderszenen (original spelling Kinderscenen, Scenes from Childhood) Opus 15

Vladimir Horowitz, piano

Kinderszenen (original spelling Kinderscenen, “Scenes from Childhood”), Opus 15, by Robert Schumann, is a set of thirteen pieces of music for piano written in 1838. In this work, Schumann provides us with his adult reminiscences of childhood. Schumann had originally written 30 movements for this work, but chose 13 for the final version. Robert Polansky has discussed the unused movements.

Nr. 7, Träumerei, is one of Schumann’s best known pieces; it was the title of a 1944 German biographical film on Robert Schumann. Träumerei is also the opening and closing musical theme in the 1947 Hollywood film Song of Love, starring Katharine Hepburn as Clara Wieck Schumann.

Schumann had originally labeled this work Leichte Stücke (Easy Pieces). Likewise, the section titles were only added after the completion of the music, and Schumann described the titles as “nothing more than delicate hints for execution and interpretation”. Timothy Taylor has discussed Schumann’s choice of titles for this work in the context of the changing situation of music in 19th century culture and economics.

In 1974, Eric Sams noted that there was no known complete manuscript of Kinderszenen.

1. Von fremden Ländern und Menschen
Of Foreign Lands and Peoples

2. Kuriose Geschichte
A Curious Story

3. Hasche-Mann
Blind Man’s Bluff

4. Bittendes Kind
Pleading Child

5. Glückes genug
Happy Enough

6. Wichtige Begebenheit
An Important Event

7. Träumerei

8. Am Kamin
At the Fireside

9. Ritter vom Steckenpferd
Knight of the Hobbyhorse

10. Fast zu ernst
Almost Too Serious

11. Fürchtenmachen

12. Kind im Einschlummern
Child Falling Asleep

13. Der Dichter spricht
The Poet Speaks


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