Schumann Did It!

03/13/2015

 
In a few days I will be playing Schumann's Waldszenen in a public recital in Stockholm. After the dress rehearsal the other day a poet friend sent me a message describing how he had found himself listening in a completely new way, relating passages of one piece in the cycle to another, experiencing memory and fantasy all at once.  In fact, what he heard is the essence of this mysterious work, by far the most challenging of anything I have ever studied, and I have been studying it literally for decades.
I am aware of all the things my friend observed.  They are all taking place every time I play the cycle.  But if they are audible it is not because of anything that I do, but rather because of what Schumann has accomplished.  I concentrate on the tone that holds the work together, allowing it to become so alive that it arouses specific responses on the part of the listener.  He was not alone to express such specificity.  
So I have to conclude that Schumann succeeded in writing a truly pre-modern work.  I am so grateful.
 


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