Robert Schumann Symphonic Studies (Etudes Symphoniques) op.13 (complete)
Mehmet Okonsar, piano:
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About the WORK:
ETUDES SYMPHONIQUES op.13
[from Wikipedia, read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphoni…]
The first edition in 1837 carried an annotation that the tune was “the composition of an amateur”: this referred to the origin of the theme, which had been sent to Schumann by Baron von Fricken, guardian of Ernestine von Fricken, the Estrella of his Carnaval Op. 9. The baron, an amateur musician, had used the melody in a Theme with Variations for flute. Schumann had been engaged to Ernestine in 1834, only to break abruptly with her the year after. An autobiographical element is thus interwoven in the genesis of the Etudes Symphoniques (as in that of many other masterpieces of Schumann’s). * Theme – Andante * Etude I (Variation 1) – Un poco più vivo * Etude II (Variation 2) – Andante * Etude III – Vivace * Etude IV (Variation 3) – Allegro marcato * Etude V (Variation 4) – Scherzando * Etude VI (Variation 5) – Agitato * Etude VII (Variation 6) – Allegro molto * Etude VIII (Variation 7) – Sempre marcatissimo * Etude IX – Presto possible * Etude X (Variation 8) – Allegro con energia * Etude XI (Variation 9) – Andante espressivo * Etude XII (Finale) – Allegro brillante (based on Marschner’s theme).
Other titles had been considered in September 1834: Variations pathétiques and Etuden im Orchestercharakter von Florestan und Eusebius. In this latter case the Études would have been signed by two imaginary figures in whom Schumann personified two essential, opposite and complementary aspects of his own personality and his own poetic world. ‘Florestan and Eusebius’ then signed the Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6; but only in the 1835 version of the Études symphoniques were the pieces divided so as to emphasize the alternation of more lyrical, melancholy and introvert pages (Eusebius) with those of a more excitable and dynamic nature (Florestan). In the 1837 version Florestan prevails.
Fifteen years later, in a second edition (Leipzig 1852), the 1837 title Etudes Symphoniques became Etudes en forme de variations, two studies (Nos. 3 and 9) that did not correspond to the new title (not being exactly variations) were eliminated, and some revisions were made in the piano writing.
The entire work was dedicated to Schumann’s English friend, the pianist and composer William Sterndale Bennett. Bennett played the piece frequently in England to great acclaim, but Schumann thought it was unsuitable for public performance and advised his wife Clara not to play it.
About the Artist:
Mehmet Okonsar is a pianist-composer-conductor and musicologist. Besides his international concert carrier he is a prolific writer. Founder of the first classical music-musicology dedicated blog-site:”inventor-musicae” (http://www.inventor-musicae.com) as well as the first classical-music video portal : http://www.classicalvideos.net. Okonsar homepage: http://www.okonsar.com.