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UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

Date:___________________


I, _________________________________________________________,
hereby submit this work as part of the requirements for the degree of:

in:

It is entitled:







This work and its defense approved by:


Chair:
_______________________________

_______________________________

_______________________________

_______________________________

_______________________________

June 30, 2006
Dong Xu
Doctor of Musical Arts
Piano Performance
Themes of Childhood: A Study of Robert Schumann's
Piano Music for Children
Frank Weinstock
Michael Chertock
Hilary Poriss


Themes of Childhood: A Study of Robert Schumanns
Piano Music for Children



A doctoral document submitted to the

Division of Research and Advanced Studies

of the University of Cincinnati

In partial fulfillment of the

requirements for the degree of

DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS

In the Keyboard Division

of the College-Conservatory of Music

2006


By


DONG XU



B.M., Central Conservatory of Music, China, 1996

M.M., Eastman School of Music, 1999




Committee Chair: Frank Weinstock



ABSTRACT

Robert Schumanns piano music for children, including the Kinderszenen, Album
for the Young, Waldszenen, Three Piano Sonatas for the Young, and three piano duets
Twelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces for Small and Big Children, Ball Scenes, and Childrens
Ball, has remained the most characteristic and successful example of his engagement
with the theme of childhood, a popular topic in Romantic art and culture. Although the
techniques required within these collections are not as difficult as those found in
Schumanns other piano works, they embrace some of the finest and most rewarding
instances of Schumanns piano writing, and demonstrate their innermost poetic quality
and evocative imagination. The purpose of this document is to explore the expressiveness
of these works by revealing the sources of their emotional content, their musical
originality and characteristics through a historical study and musical analysis.
The first chapter addresses Schumanns personal and family life and the influence
of childhood on him to explain why the theme could have affected his affinity for music
related to children. The second chapter provides an overview of Schumanns music for
and about children in genres other than piano. This chapter also discusses the quality and
styles of Schumanns late works, with emphasis on Hausmusik, a German term
suggesting domestic music making found throughout in his piano music for children and
many of his late compositions. The following two chapters present detailed studies of
Schumanns four piano solo works for children. To uncover their musical effect and
characteristics of the theme of childhood, the compositional background, thematic
treatment, harmonic design, and formal structure are analyzed in detail, as individual
pieces and coherent sets. The last chapter is devoted to the three piano duets for children,
and identifies their musical traits that are found throughout Schumanns other works
related to childhood. Appendices contain selected reviews of Schumanns piano music
for children by Franz Liszt, and Clara Schumanns explanation and interpretation of
pieces from the Album for the Young.




ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

In the course of preparing this document, several individuals have assisted me in
bringing the project to its completion, and it is my pleasure to acknowledge them here.
First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to my
piano teacher, advisor, and committee chair Professor Frank Weinstock, who has offered
constructive support, invaluable advice, and sensible guidance at every stage of the
project. He has been a source of inspiration during my doctoral studies and a model for
me as a pianist and person. Special and warm thanks go to my committee members, Dr.
Hilary Poriss and Mr. Michael Chertock, who have provided me with especially valued
insights and extremely helpful comments and suggestions.
I also wish to express deep thanks to my wife, J ing Ye, for her understanding,
patience, and encouragement, for helping me in countless ways in my life. And to my
son, Felix; it was because of his birth in 2004 that the idea for the topic first germinated. I
hope that one day he will want to read it. Finally, I would like to extend my heartfelt
thanks to my dear parents for their unconditional love and immeasurable support in my
musical education. I dedicate this document to them, with love.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES.. iii
LIST OF MUSICAL EXAMPLES. iv
INTRODUCTION.. 1
Chapter
1. CHILDHOOD AND SCHUMANN
Schumanns Own Childhood.. 4
Schumanns Relationship with His Children. 9
Childhood in German Romantic Literature 13
Childrens Education: Social Influences on Schumann. 16
2. SCHUMANN: MUSIC FOR CHILDREN, THE LATE WORKS AND
HAUSMUSIK
Schumanns Music for Children. 20
The Late Works and Hausmusik. 37
3. THE KINDERSZENEN AND THE ALBUM FOR THE YOUNG
The Kinderszenen: Schumann as a Poet. 45
The Album for the Young: Imaginative Miniatures of Childhood.. 56
4. THE WALDSZENEN AND THREE PIANO SONATAS FOR THE YOUNG
The Waldszenen: A Musical Mrchen... 76
Three Piano Sonatas for the Young: Musical Portraits of Three
Daughters... 93





i
5. THE THREE PIANO DUETS FOR CHILDREN
The Piano Duet and Schumann... 108
TheTwelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces For Small and Big
Children, Op. 85.. 111

The Ball Scenes, Op. 109 and the Childrens Ball, Op. 130.. 118

CONCLUSION... 128
BIBLIOGRAPHY... 130
APPENDIXES
A. Selected Reviews of Schumanns Piano Music for Children by Liszt 137
B. Clara Schumanns Explanation and Interpretation of Pieces from
the Album for the Young.. 139



























ii
LIST OF TABLES

1. Kinderszenen, Op. 15, key scheme and formal structure. 55
2. Waldszenen, Op. 82, key scheme and formal structure 81
3. The Twelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces for Small and Big Children, Op. 85,
key and formal schemes 114

4. Walzer, from the Ball Scenes, Op. 109, No. 8, formal outline. 123
iii
LIST OF MUSICAL EXAMPLES

1. Mond, meiner Seele Liebling, Op. 104, No. 1, mm. 1-8... 24
2. Der Zeisig, Op. 104, No. 4, mm. 1-11... 25
3. Der Rose Pilgerfahrt, No. 12, Op. 112, mm. 1-6.. 27
4. Der Rose Pilgerfahrt, No. 1, Op. 112, mm. 1-24.. 28
5a. Mrchenerzahlungen, Op. 132, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-9.. 30
5b. Mrchenerzahlungen, Op. 132, 4
th
movement, mm. 1-7.. 31
6. Mignon, Op. 68, No. 35, mm. 1-10... 33
7. Heiss mich nicht redden, Op. 98a, No. 5, mm. 1-9 34
8. Requiem fr Mignon, No. 6, Op. 98b, mm. 355-371. 36
9a. Bittendes Kind, Op. 15, No. 4, mm. 14-17 48
9b. Glckes genug, Op. 15, No. 5, mm. 1-4 48
10. Kind im Einschlummern, Op. 15, No. 12, mm. 7-16. 49
11. Kind im Einschlummern, Op. 15, No. 12, mm. 25-32... 50
12. Der Dichter spricht, Op. 15, No. 13, mm. 1-12 50
13. Von fremden Lndern und Menschen, Op. 15, No. 1, mm. 1-4 52
14a. Kuriose Geschichte, Op. 15, No. 2, mm. 1-4 52
14b. Bittendes Kind, Op. 15, No. 4, mm. 1-3 53
14c. Frchtenmachen, Op. 15, No. 11, mm. 1-8... 53
15a. Wichtige Begebenheit, Op. 15, No. 6, mm. 1-4. 53
15b. Trumerei, Op. 15, No. 7, mm. 1-4... 54
15c. Ritter vom Steckenpferd, Op. 15, No. 9, mm. 1-8. 54
iv
16. Fr ganz Kleine. 58
17a. Little Fugue, Op. 68, No. 40, prelude, mm. 1-4 63
17b. Little Fugue, Op. 68, No. 40, fugue, mm. 1-4... 63
18a. A Chorale, Op. 68, No. 4... 64
18b. Figured Chorale, Op. 68, No. 42, mm. 1-8... 64
19a. Remembrance, Op. 68, No. 28, mm. 1-10. 67
19b. Intermezzo, from the Leiderkreis, Op. 39, No. 2, mm. 1-6... 67
20a. Op. 68, No. 21, mm. 1-4... 68
20b. Beethoven, Euch werde Lohn in bessern Welten in Act II from Fidelio,
mm. 1-6. 68
21a. Op. 68, No. 21, mm. 14-18.... 69
21b. Fantasie, Op. 17, 1
st
movement, mm. 295-309. 69
22a. Soldiers March, Op. 68, No. 2, mm. 1-12 70
22b. Beethoven, Spring Sonata for piano and violin, Op. 24, 3
rd
movement,
mm. 1-13 70
23. Northern Song, Op. 68, No. 41, mm. 1-4.. 71
24. Wintertime II, Op. 68, No. 39, mm. 1-6 72
25. Wintertime II, Op. 68, No. 39, mm. 25-32 73
26. Wintertime II, Op. 68, No. 39, mm. 47-64 74
27a. J .S. Bach, Peasant Cantata, BWV 212, No. 3, Recitative, mm. 4-9 74
27b. Papillons, Op. 2, finale, mm. 1-12 75
27c. Carnaval, Op. 9, finale, mm. 49-65.. 75
28a. Einsame Blumen, Op. 82, mm. 1-7... 81
28b. Verrufene Stelle, Op. 82, mm. 5-8 82
v
29a. Herberge, Op. 82, mm. 37-40... 82
29b. Freundliche Landschaft, Op. 82, mm. 1-5 82
30a. Abschied, Op. 82, mm. 1-3... 83
30b. Herberge, Op. 82, mm. 1-2... 83
31a. Verrufene Stelle, Op. 82, mm. 33-35 83
31b. Vogel als Prophet, Op. 82, mm. 1. 84
32. Eintritt, Op. 82, mm. 1-4... 85
33. Jger auf der Lauer, Op. 82, mm. 1-4.. 85
34. Schubert, Frhlingsglaube, D. 686, mm. 4-7. 86
35. Schubert, Waltz, from 34 Valses sentimentales, D. 779, No, 13, mm. 1-6 87
36. Verrufene Stelle, Op. 82, mm. 1-8. 88
37a. Herberge, Op. 82, mm. 1-4... 89
37b. Waldesgeprch, from Liederkreis, Op. 39, No. 3, mm. 1-4... 89
38. Vogel als Prophet, Op. 82, mm. 1-5.. 90
39. Abschied, Op. 82, mm. 1-6 92
40a. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-4 97
40b. Brahms, Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-4 97
41. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 1
st
movement, mm. 1-4 98
42. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 2
nd
movement, mm. 1-3... 98
43a. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-4 99
43b. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 3
rd
movement, mm. 31-34 99
44a. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 1-4 99
44b. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 93-105.. 99
vi
45. Sonata No. 2, Op. 118, 1
st
movement, mm. 1-3 101
46. Sonata No. 2, Op. 118, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-5 102
47. Sonata No. 2, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 1-4 102
48. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 1
st
movement, mm. 1-6 104
49. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 2
nd
movement, mm. 1-3... 105
50a. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 32-38 106
50b. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 43-50 106
51a. Brentanz, mm. 1-4... 113
51b. Brentanz, Op. 85, No. 2, mm. 1-4... 114
52. Turniermarsch, Op. 85, No. 7, mm. 1-6 115
53. Am Springbrunnen, Op. 85, No. 9, mm. 1-8. 116
54. Abendlied, Op. 85, No. 12, mm. 1-9. 117
55a. Walzer, Op. 109, No. 3, mm. 1-6.. 121
55b. Walzer, Op. 109, No. 8, mm. 1-12 122
55c. Walzer, Op. 130, No. 2, mm. 1-7.. 122
56a. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 1
st
movement, mm. 4-6 124
56b. Polonaise, Op. 130, No. 1, mm. 1-8.. 124
57. Ungarisch, Op. 109, No. 4, mm. 42-53. 125
58. Mazurka, Op. 109, No. 6, mm. 1-10. 126





vii



INTRODUCTION

In modern times the writing of simple piano works as educational music has
become a separate division of composition. However, in the nineteenth century it seemed
not so. Many piano pieces for children were written by great composers of all periods,
meeting the needs of beginners and young players. This type of musical literature
provides children with materials for developing their technical abilities and their musical
minds; it also offers them an opportunity to study the individual composers work in
miniature and to examine its relationship in style to their large-scale compositions. Many
of these piano pieces by great composers have proved to be of lasting value, not only as
teaching works but also as music.
Among the best of the piano music for children are some poetic and imaginative
collections composed by Robert Schumann (1810-1856). In his compositions, there was a
marked, lasting, and historical link with the world of childhood. The composer dedicated
many works to this topic, and a poetical element is never missing from these works. Even
when the reference is not explicit, the imaginative aspect always manages to appear.
Many of Schumanns compositions, therefore, are bound up with themes which are close
in spirit to the world of the child, not only those whose titles specifically point out this
fact.

2
The theme of childhood in the romantic experience was symbolic of the return to
the natural, poetic, and sublime soul of man. Based upon the great number of musical
compositions, there is reason to conclude that the idea of childhood greatly influenced
Schumann and his music. Schumanns fondness for childhood is first found in the
Kinderszenen, Op. 15, which was not written for the young but rather for an adults
recollection of childhood. The works he deliberately planned for children are, for
example, the Album for the Young, Op. 68, the Three Piano Sonatas for the Young, Op.
118, and some sets of piano duets. Interest in the serious study of Mrchen (fairy tale)
developed and flourished in the early nineteenth-century Germany. Schumann read them
to his children and, inspired by them, he wrote several musical works, including the
Waldszenen, Op. 82, and chamber pieces for small ensemble. As evidenced by the
composers musical references, the theme of childhood made a lasting impression upon
many of Schumanns creative inspirations.
Today most of Schumanns piano works for children are less known and rarely
performed, without having received any serious attention from pianists or critics.
Although extensive research has been done on Schumann and his compositions, a
comprehensive study and analysis of his piano music for and about children has not been
undertaken. The primary purpose of this document is to evaluate these childhood
collections (including the Kinderszenen, the Album for the Young, the Waldszenen, Three
Piano Sonatas for the Young, and the three piano duets Twelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces
for Small and Big Children, the Ball Scenes, and the Childrens Ball) and to draw
attention to the expressiveness of these works by revealing their musical originality,
emotional substance, and poetic quality through a historical study and musical analysis.
3
To understand the influence of childhood upon Schumann and to study his piano
music for children, this document will first discuss the reasoning behind Schumanns
personal identification with childhood. There is an important issue regarding his music
for children and about childhood: Schumanns relationship with his children. Examining
this issue leads to a better understanding of the simplicity, the characterization of
childhood, and the meditative attitude within the works. Next, the document will focus on
Schumanns music for children and his late works. Except the Kinderszenen, all the
works for and about children were composed during the last years of Schumanns career.
The concept of Hausmusik, a German musical and cultural movement in the 1840s, had
profound effects on Schumanns late music. This movement and Schumanns response to
it are important factors in the changes in his musical aesthetics. After synthesizing the
background information on Schumanns world of childhood and his late music, the
document will then explore the influence of the themes of childhood upon Schumanns
creations of each work. The analysis will concentrate on their compositional/historical
background, thematic treatment, harmonic design, and formal structure, as individual
pieces and coherent sets. From the early Kinderszenen to the final Childrens Ball, the
piano pieces for children prove themselves to be the significant points of contact with the
more nostalgic and intimate journey of Schumanns spirit.








CHAPTER ONE
CHILDHOOD AND SCHUMANN

Schumanns Own Childhood

Robert Schumann was born on J une 8, 1810, in Zwickau in Saxony, a small town
of east-central Germany south of Leipzig. Zwickau was a beautiful and idyllic place,
described by his father as one of the loveliest and most romantic regions of Saxony,
1

where Schumann spent his childhood and youth.
Schumanns own childhood was quite comfortable: the fifth and youngest child in
a household with a strong literary atmosphere. His father, August Schumann, was an
industrious publisher and bookseller. August Schumann received a good education and
displayed an unusual interest in literature and poetry in his early years. In 1795, he
married J ohanne Christiane Schnabel, the daughter of a chief surgeon at Zeitz. The
couple moved to Ronneburg and first opened a grocery store. However, his passion for
literature persisted. In 1799, he abandoned the grocery business and turned to
bookselling, and eventually moved with his wife and four children to Zwickau in 1808,
where in partnership with his brother Friedrich he established the publishing firm of the
Brothers Schumann. His business soon began to flourish. By the time Robert was


1
August Schumann, Lexicon of Saxony, quoted in Georg Eismann, Robert Schumann: A
Biography in Word and Picture, trans. Lena J aeck (Leipzig: VEB Edition Leipzig, 1964), 30.
5
born, August Schumann had become a notable citizen
2
of Zwickau. At his death in
1826 he left an impressive estate, a sum that provided financial assurance to the family
and ultimately assisted Schumann in his music study and career.
3
It was August
Schumann who watched the development of his youngest son Robert with great care. As
an affectionate father, he supervised and followed the gradual unfolding of Roberts gifts
with ardent interest. Schumann admired and loved his father throughout his life. In his
undergraduate room at the University of Leipzig, his fathers portrait held a place of
honor, together with those of J ean Paul and Napoleon.
4
With the reverential memory, on
August 10, 1842, he noted the following words in his diary:
This day is the anniversary of the death of my good father, about whom I have often
been thinking; he was often in Teplitz; if only he could also have seen us here
together.
5

Since his father was occupied with business, Schumann was brought up largely by
two women. His mother devoted herself with passionate tenderness to him, whom she
called the pretty child.
6
Besides his mother, there was Eleonore Ruppius, the wife of a
Burgomaster, who was a very dear friend of the whole Schumann family. She took a
fancy to Schumann as a baby, and took care of him between his third and fifth years.
7



2
Frederick Niecks, Robert Schumann (London: J .M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1925), 25.

3
Alan Walker, Schumann and his Background, in Robert Schumann: The Man and His Music,
ed. Alan Walker (London: Barrie and J enkins, 1972), 3-4.

4
Niecks, 38.

5
The Marriage Diaries of Robert & Clara Schumann: From Their Wedding Day through the
Russia Trip, ed. Gerd Nauhaus, trans. Peter Ostwald (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993), 163.

6
Ronald Taylor, Robert Schumann: His Life and Work (New York: Universe Books, 1982), 24.

7
When Schumann was three, his mother caught typhoid. To avoid the infection, he was put into
the care of Eleonore Ruppius. See Peter Ostwald, Schumann: The Inner Voices of a Musical Genius
(Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1985), 15.
6
Although his stay in the Ruppius household has been viewed by Peter Ostwald as the
source of a separation anxiety that fed into the composers later depressive condition,
8

Schumann seemed to have a loving memory of that period of time. He later wrote in his
autobiography:
I at first was put for only 6 weeks to the house of the present burgomaster Ruppius;
I was fond of her, she became a second mother, in short, I stayed two and a half
years under her truly motherly care
9

Schumann possessed at an early age a marked talent for both music and literature.
He began his earliest education with a resident tutor, who taught him some basis of
music. At the age of six, he was sent to a private preparatory school of the archdeacon
Hermann Dhner, where he remained for four years. Here, Schumann was first brought
into contact with a number of children of his age. When he was seven, he began piano
lessons with J ohann Gottfried Kuntzsch (1775-1855), the organist and choirmaster of the
Marienkirche, the largest church in Zwickau. Although Kuntzsch was not a great
musician, he stimulated Schumanns musical interest, nourished his remarkable ability,
helped him release the powerful musical impulse, and provided constant support.
Throughout his life, Schumann held Kuntzsch in high regard. In a letter dated J uly 27,
1832 to Kuntzsch, he wrote:
You will hardly believe, my most honoured teacher and friend, how often and
how gladly I think of you. You were the only one who recognized the predominating
musical talent in me and indicated betimes the path along which, sooner or later, my
good genius was to guide me.
10




8
J ohn Daverio, Robert Schumann: Herald of a New Poetic Age (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1997), 21, quoting Peter Ostwald, Leiden und Trauern im leben und Werk Robert Schumann, in
Schumanns Werke, ed. Mayeda and Niemller (Mainz: Schott, 1987), 122; Ostwald, Schumann, 15-16, 20.

9
Eismann, 32.

10
Niecks, 32.
7
Years later, in 1845, Schumann expressed sincere gratitude by dedicating to him his
Studies for Pedal Piano, Op. 56, and in 1852, near the end of his life, he wrote a grateful
letter to congratulate the fiftieth anniversary of Kuntzschs installation as a music
teacher.
11
In addition to the most favored piano, Schumann also learned to play the cello and
the flute. He made his first attempt at composition, a set of little dances for the piano
(now lost) at the age of seven or eight. At the age of ten, Schumann entered into the
Zwickau Lyceum, where he soon began playing the piano at amateur concerts. He
organized a youth orchestra made up of his little friends and, when he was eleven,
performed his first large composition, a setting of Psalm 150 for chorus, piano, and
orchestra. His talent for improvisation was also displayed at the time. In a supplement to
the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung issued April 1850, in the 52
nd
volume of the
publication, a biographical sketch of Schumann noted:
It has been related that Schumann, as a child, possessed rare taste and talent for
portraying feelings and characteristic traits in melody, ay, he could sketch the
different dispositions of his intimate friends by certain figures and passages on the
piano so exactly and comically that every one burst into loud laughter at the
similitude of the portrait.
12

Another childhood stimulation to Schumanns musical imagination was especially
significant. In the summer of 1819, when he was nine, Schumanns mother took him to
Carlsbad in Bohemia where, in a concert, he saw Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870), a
distinguished and great piano virtuoso of that time. The dazzling occasion seems to have
made a deep and lasting impression on him. He kept the concert program as a sacred


11
Wilhelm J oseph von Wasielewski, Life of Robert Schumann, trans. A. L. Alger (Detroit:
Information Coordinators, 1975), 18.

12
Ibid., 18-19.
8
memento and determined to become a piano virtuoso himself.
13
Thirty-two years later in
a letter thanking Moscheles for the dedication of his E Major Cello Sonata, Op. 121,
Schumann recalled that very occasion: more than thirty years ago, in Carlsbad, how
little did I dream that I should ever be thus honored by so illustrious a master!
14
Reading literature attracted him as much as music. Schumanns father insisted
that all of his sons should be well educated. Literary pursuits were strongly encouraged in
the household; therefore, in addition to music, much of Schumanns energy was directed
to literature. He found rich opportunities to go over the classics of literature in his fathers
bookstore; he read the lives of the poets, studied the dramatic works, and developed a
taste for J ean Paul and E.T.A. Hoffmann. He also helped his father, along with his
brothers, collect and translate essays and organized various literary clubs. These early
tasks no doubt stimulated his intense love for literature. In addition to his early music
compositions, Schumanns first literary works originated simultaneously: poetry, essays
and fragmentary novels.
15
Later when he gave up study of the law and devoted himself
entirely to music, Schumann still continued his literary pursuits, particularly in the field
of music criticism.
Schumanns childhood was tranquil and happy, and he was educated lovingly
and carefully.
16
His life and music were involved in his childhood in which it was
rooted. In his many moments of melancholy and suffering, Schumann seemed always to


13
Ibid., 19.

14
Ibid.

15
Eric Frederick J ensen, Schumann (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 8.

16
Wasielewski, 126.
9
recall it lovingly. His music is permeated with the memories of his early years, a lasting
fragrance of childlike innocence.

Schumanns Relationship with His Children

Schumanns delight in the childs mind went back to the time when he was the
young Claras moonstruck concocter of charades.
17
He frequently called her a child, as
he explained in a letter (May 11, 1838) to Clara:
Youre a very dear girl, and I often call you child in my thoughts, and thats the
most beautiful word that I can have for anybody.
18

During the time he and Clara spent together, they had eight children: Marie (born 1841),
Elise (born 1843), J ulie (born 1845), Emil (born 1846, died 1847), Ludwig (born 1848),
Ferdinand (born 1849), Eugenie (born 1851), and Felix (born 1854). Family life was
important for Schumann. His diaries, letters, and correspondence are often deeply
personal. Surprising are the frequent references to his children, showing him to be a lover
of childhood and an admirer of innocence. Even in the asylum in Endenich he still asked
Clara on September 14, 1854:
I should be glad to know from you whether Marie and Elise continue to make
progress, and whether they still sing. Tell me more details about the children. Do
they still play Beethoven, Mozart, and pieces out of my Jugendalbum (Album for the
Young)? Does J ulie keep up her playing, and how are Ludwig, Ferdinand, and sweet
Eugenie shaping?
19


17
Robert Haven Schauffler, Florestan: The Life and Work of Robert Schumann (New York: Henry
Holt and Company, 1945), 48.

18
The Complete Correspondence of Clara and Robert Schumann, ed. Eva Weissweiler, trans.
Hildegard Fritscht and Ronald L. Crawford, vol. 1 (New York: P. Lang, 1994), 176.

19
Robert Schumann, The Letters of Robert Schumann, ed. Karl Storck, trans. Hannah Bryant
(New York: Arno Press, 1979), 289.
10
Four days later, in response to news of the birth of his son Felix, whom Schumann never

saw, he wrote again to Clara:

What joyful tidings you have again sent me! The birth of a fine boyand in J une,
too. If you wish to consult me in the matter of a name, you will easily guess my
choicethe name of the unforgettable one.
20

In the following months, he inquired about the children regularly and mentioned to Clara
that he would write to them. He even insisted in a letter to his young friend Brahms, on
December 15, 1854:
I am so glad to hear about the marked talent of my little girls, Marie, Elise and J ulie.
Do you often hear them play?
21

An unfailing source of comfort to him throughout all difficult times was his wife and his
children. Robert says: Children are blessings, Clara noted in May 1847 in her diary,
and he is right, for there is no happiness without children.
22
As a composer, Schumann
wrote in his diary on J une 28, 1843:
I dont like to write and speak about my own works; my wish is that they may have
good effects in the world and assure me a loving remembrance from my children.
23

Schumann was a devoted father. When Marie, the eldest child, celebrated her first
birthday, Schumann gave her a really nice and thoughtful present, a diary in which he
had described her first year of life.
24
It was addressed to her name:



20
Ibid., 290. Storck notes here that Felix was born on J une 11 and Schumanns birthday was J une
8. He also notes that the name is Mendelssohn.

21
Letters of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, 1853-1896, ed. Berthold Litzmann, vol. 1
(New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1927), 19.

22
J oan Chissell, Schumann (London: J .M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1967), 62.

23
The Marriage Diaries, 197.


24
Ibid., 171.
11
You were happy and lively almost the whole time, with your pretty blue eyes and
dark lashes. You have learnt to crawl around the room very quickly and are very
agile. You can even stand up by yourself, though of course you cannot yet walk
properly or talk. But your singing is farther advanced, with definite intervals and
phrases. At the back of this diary, where the staves have been ruled, you will find
some of the little tunes that I used to sing to you at the piano. We shall make up a lot
more together
25

A couple of years later, Schumann decided to create a booklet in a similar manner for all
the children. He named it A Little Book of Memories for Our Children. Eugenie
Schumann, the seventh of eight children, published in her Erinnerungen (Memoirs) the A
Little Book of Memories for Our Children, which Schumann started on February 23, 1846
in Dresden.
26
It contains a record of the childrens births, their characteristics at various
ages, happenings and proof of child-like thinking and experiences, and mottos and
maxims by Schumann and Clara. The booklet is a collection of descriptions of
Schumanns life with his children, and it records Schumanns approach to the psyche of
the child and his immersion into the world of his children. The interpretation of their
characters is subtle, full of intuition and the psychological understanding of their minds is
deep.
Schumann was pleased to be with his children and to observe their growth and
development, as evidenced in the A Little Book of Memories for Our Children:
Almost daily walks with Marie in Dresden, even in bad weather.
Frequently occupy myself in teaching Marie to count, and to look for rhymes.
The children like to be helpful and busy.
May 25 (1846), went with Marie and Elise into the country for a few weeks,
The childrens chief amusement was a very simple swing in the arbour.
27




25
Taylor, 214.

26
Eugenie Schumann, Memoirs of Eugenie Schumann, trans. Marie Busch (London: W.
Heinemann, 1927; reprint, Westport: Hyperion Press, Inc., 1986), 206-18.

27
Ibid., 207, 208, 214.
12
He also sketched the development of the childrens musical education:
Marie and Elise often sing with evident pleasure, and have clear, true voices,
On March 26 (1846, Marie was four), I am beginning to teach her the keys on the
piano.
J ulie is developing more slowly than the others. On the other hand, music
appeals to her very much, she at once begins to sing.
Marie (1847) had started piano lessons with her aunt, Marie Wieck. We were
pleased to hear her play five or six little exercises very nicely,
Since October 1 (1848), Marie and Elise have been going to a proper school.
They have also been attending Frulein Malinskas piano school for the last six
months, and are now playing all the scales and some little pieces.
28

The idea of such a booklet dedicated to children was remarkable. For Schumann, to love
his children meant to reach out to the ideal state, which was represented by the soul of a
child. Marie noted the childlike side of his father:
We met him [our father] once as we were coming out of school. We saw him walking
with Herr v. Wasielewski on the other side of the street, and ran across and said good
morning and offered him our hands. He pretended not to know us, looked at us for a
moment through his glasses and then said: And who may you be, you dear little
people? We were very much amused
29

Great artists are often accused of being too egocentric to care for members of their
family, but, in the case of Schumann, it is a well-established fact that for his children he
experienced a very tender love. In recollection of her father, Marie wrote:
When I look back over my life, my childhood shines out as the brightest spot in it.
The happiness of being with my parents, the knowledge that we children were the
dearest thing on earth to them, gave me a sense of certainty, of security, of
protection, which, when our great misfortune came, was lost, never to return to the
same extent.
30

And Eugenie expressed this in her Memoirs:


28
Ibid., 207, 208, 211, 215.

29
Berthold Litzmann, Clara Schumann: An Artists Life, trans. Grace E. Hadow, vol. 2 (New
York: Vienna House, 1972), 143.

30
Ibid., 141.
13
Marie, Elise, J ulie! Your first steps in life were guided by our father, and it was
for you that he started to write the Little Book of Memories to which I have already
referred, and which he continued for three years. What love, what understanding,
while he watched the first efforts of your little feet, the first manifestations of your
souls! How much did you, did we all, lose in this father!
31


Childhood in German Romantic Literature

The theme of childhood in the romantic experience was symbolic of the return to
the natural, poetic, and innocent soul of man. By recapturing and keeping the essence of a
childhood, one could evoke his reminiscences and dreams or idealize the childhood he
had lost or never had. In painting, this side of human spirit was examined in works such
as Night (1803) and The Artists Parents and Children (1806) by Philipp Otto Runge,
who attempted to express nature in visual form by presenting his idealized landscapes
with children, as though only children were worthy to live in nature. The topic,
however, took on ideal connotations in German Romantic literature, which played an
important role in shaping Schumanns musical aesthetics and had great impact on the
form of his music for children.
Literature for children and about childhood emerged in the second half of the
eighteenth century. The emergence was linked to many historical forces, among them
notably the development of Enlightenment thought and Romanticism. The Enlightenment
thought helped toward the identification of the child as an independent being, while
Romanticism produced strands of genres making a special appeal to the young: folktales,
fairy tales, and ballads, for instance. In addition, according to Leon Botstein, the German


31
E. Schumann, 56.
14
Romantics were ambivalent about the time they lived; therefore, expressions of a desire
to escape the present moment became a general enthusiasm.
32
He further writes:
Once again J ean Paul helped to set the tone. Memory and hope childhood and the
beyond fill his spirit, wrote [Wilhelm] Dilthey, obliterating the knife point of the
present, general enthusiasm for art and culture.
The use of art to escape the present painthrough the evocations (no matter how
fantastic) of both remembrances and dreamsfit precisely Schumanns careful
description of his life in letters and diaries.
33

This was true of Schumann, who carried with him a nostalgia for his childhood
throughout life as a wistful longing.
The first Romantic school in German literature originated in J ena about 1798. The
major literary theorists were the brothers August Wilhelm and Friedrich von Schlegel,
who considered that Romantic literature was to encompass all forms of writing in
progress universal poetry.
34
Goethes Wilhelm Meister was the main literary model of
the group. The chief creative writers of the J ena school were Wilhelm Heinrich
Wackenroder, Ludwig Tieck, and Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg). Like J ean Paul,
whose books to some extent are redeemed by profuse imagination and dreamlike fantasy,
the theme of childhood was also presented in their works, such as Novalis Henry of
Ofterdingen (1802). These works combined abstract ideas with symbols of beauty and
innocence. By 1804 the circle at J ena had dispersed. A second phase of Romanticism was
initiated two years later in Heidelberg, around Achim and Bettina von Arnim, Clemens
Brentano, and J ohann J oseph von Grres. Unlike the members of the earlier school, the


32
Leon Botstein, History, Rhetoric, and the Self: Robert Schumann and Music Making in
German-Speaking Europe, 1800-1860, in Schumann and His World, ed. R. Larry Todd (Princeton, N.J .:
Princeton University Press, 1994), 31.

33
Ibid., 31-32.

34
Ralph Tymms, German Romantic Literature (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1955), 123.
15
Heidelberg writers tended more to stress the beauties of unspoiled nature, and it was also
in Heidelberg romanticism that the romantic interest in German history and folklore first
really took hold.
The emotional and imaginative forces in German Romantic literature were
awakened mainly by the wide influence of two important works,
35
not intended for
children but soon taken over by them. Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youths Magic
Horn, 1805-08), a collection of old German songs and folk verse, includes many
children's songs, or songs that were denominated by the editors, Achim von Arnim and
Clemens Brentano. The effect of the book was to retrieve for Germany much of its rich
folk heritage, to promote a new emotional sensibility, and to draw attention to the link, as
the Romantics thought, binding folk feeling to the childs vision of the world.
36
Des
Knaben Wunderhorn became a part of German childhood, and it helped inspire several
excellent writers of verse for children: Hoffmann von Fallersleben, August Kopisch,
Count Franz Pocci, and F.W. Gll.
J ust as in Des Knaben Wunderhorn, the same impulse later led the brothers
Wilhelm and J acob Grimm to compile their famous collection of fairy tales, Kinder- und
Hausmrchen (Childrens and Household Tales, 1812-15), popularly known as Grimms
Fairy Tales. The work helped to develop a school of prose fairy-tale writers. For the
German Romantics, it was often in the fairy-tale, the Mrchen, that childhood was most
easily recovered. Dominated by the poetic mood of fairy fiction, they could immerse
themselves in the childs simplicity and refresh themselves at the source of the childs


35
Gillian Rodger, The Lyric, in The Romantic Period in Germany, ed. Siegbert Prawer (New
York: Schocken Books, 1970), 147.

36
Tymms, 214.
16
primitive innocence. Not all of these Romantics wrote with children in mind, but some of
the simplest of their tales have become part of the German childs inheritance. Among
the Mrchen masters are E.T.A. Hoffmann, Clemens Brentano, Ludwig Tieck, Novalis,
and Wilhelm Hauff, whose talents are most nearly adapted to the tastes of children.
The popularity of the fairy tale, childhood, and the dream in the early stages of
German Romantic literature suited precisely Schumanns love of the world of the child,
and provided him a source of memory and inspiration. The conception of childhood as an
intermediate state between a lost world and reality is found profoundly in Romantic
literary works, which are of great importance for the influence upon Schumann. His
dedication to the music for children or about childhood was part of this cultural trend.

Childrens Education: Social Influences on Schumann

An important social influence on Schumanns writing of childrens music was the
focusing on their childhood education in the first half of the nineteenth century in
Germany. The educational theories of J ohann Bernhard Basedow, J ohann Friedrich
Herbart, J ohann Heinrich Pestalozzi, and Friedrich Froebel are associated with the
Enlightenment insight toward the identification of the child as an independent being.
Pestalozzi (1746-1827), a Swiss educational reformer whose methods had profound
impact not in his native land but in Germany, was strongly influenced by Rousseaus
romantic idealization of the nature of the child. His pedagogical doctrines stressed that
instructions should proceed from the familiar to the new, incorporate the performance of
concrete arts and the experience of actual emotional responses, and be paced to follow
17
the gradual unfolding of the childs development.
37
His curriculum, which was modeled
on Rousseau's plan in mile (On Education, 1762), emphasized group rather than
individual recitation and focused on such participatory activities as drawing, reading,
writing, singing, physical exercise, model making, gardening, and field trips.
38
Pestalozzi
was credited for the practical introduction of music into the primary school curriculum.
He believed firmly that music was taught as an aid to moral education,
39
as he
expressed it in the following words:
It [music] is the marked and most beneficial influence which it has on the feelings,
and which I have always thought to be very efficient in preparing and attuning us for
the best impressions. The effect of music in education is not alone to keep alive a
national feeling; it goes much deeper. If cultivated in the right spirit, it strikes at the
root of every bad or narrow feeling, of every ungenerous or mean propensity, of every
emotion unworthy of humanity.
40

Many of Pestalozzis principles greatly influenced Froebel (1782-1852), the
founder of the kindergarten and one of the most influential educational reformers in the
nineteenth century. His most important contribution to educational theory was his belief
in self-activity and play as essential factors in child education. Froebel wrote numerous
articles and in 1826 published his most important treatise, Menschenerziehung (The
Education of Man), a philosophical presentation of principles and methods of education.
In 1837 he opened an infant school in Blankenburg, Prussia, which he originally called
the Child Nurture and Activity Institute, and which by happy inspiration he later
renamed the Kindergarten, or garden of children. He also started a publishing firm


37
Robert B. Downs, Heinrich Pestalozzi: Father of Modern Pedagogy (Boston: Twayne
Publishers, 1975), 35.

38
Gerald Lee Gutek, Pestalozzi & Education (New York: Random House, 1968), 46.

39
Ibid., 141.

40
Downs, 57.
18
for play and other educational materials. His experiments at the Kindergarten attracted
widespread interest, and other kindergartens were started. Schumann enrolled his two
eldest children, Marie and Elise, in Dr. Frankenbergs Kindergarten in Dresden in 1846.
They are very happy, Schumann wrote in his booklet.
41
In 1849, J ulie started to attend
the same kindergarten. A basic aspect of the kindergarten scheme planned by Froebel was
music. He described it in his writing Pedagogics of the Kindergarten:
Music is especially important, since the sounds which he produces in singing or by
striking bells or glass or metal serve to give creative expression to feelings and
ideas.
42

One of his ideas was that songs and music should accompany well-directed play, which is
devised to stimulate learning. Long before the establishment of the Blankenburg
Kindergarten, Froebel had begun collecting material for his mother-songs. The result was
a little collection of nursery songs, issued in 1841. This work developed into the notable
Mother-Play and Nursery Songs, composed by Froebels disciple, Robert Kohl, and
published in 1843.
Seeing the child as a growing organism, both Pestalozzi and Froebel in their
works drew analogies between a childs development and that of the natural growth of a
plant. Pestalozzi wrote:
Sound education stands before me symbolized by a tree planted near fertilizing
waters. A little seed, which contains the design of the tree, its form and properties, is
placed in the soil. The whole tree is an uninterrupted chain of organic parts, the
plant of which existed in the seed and root. Man is similar to the tree. In the new born
child are hidden those faculties which are to unfold during life.
43




41
E. Schumann, 209.

42
Irene M. Lilley, Friedrich Froebel: A Selection from His Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1967), 113.

43
Downs, 79.
19
And Froebel noted:

The childs soul is more tender and vulnerable than the finest or tenderest plant.
44

As in a garden, under Gods favor, and by the care of a skilled, intelligent gardener,
growing plants are cultivated in accordance with Natures laws, so here, in our
child-garden, our kindergarten, shall the noblest of all growing things, men (that is
children, the germs and shoots of humanity) be cultivated in accordance with the
laws of their own being, of God and of Nature.
45

Not surprisingly, Schumann responded to the comparison with his own description of his
daughter J ulie, who was thirteen months at the time, as an altogether delicate, sensitive
little plant.
46
Schumanns support of kindergarten and his likening of the child to the
plant reveal his strong interest in childrens education. It was naturally in Schumann that
the influence of German educational methods was especially noticeable.

The theme of childhood binds together many facets of Schumanns lifehis
childhood, his children, his association with the literature, and his interest in education.
He ventured repeatedly into the world of childhood as a source of inspiration,
demonstrating his delight in fantasy and sympathy with childlike imagination.
Schumanns compositions for and about children, both musical and literary, are examples
of his inner reflections of his personal life, and they are Schumanns personality that
animates them. By depicting the childhood emotions musically Schumann must have
recognized himself after all still a child at heart.



44
Berthe von Marenholz-Blow, Reminiscences of Friedrich Froebel, trans. Horace Mann
(Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1877), 155.

45
Robert B. Downs, Friedrich Froebel (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1978), 42.

46
E. Schumann, 208.



CHAPTER TWO
SCHUMANN: MUSIC FOR CHILDREN, THE LATE WORKS
AND HAUSMUSIK


The happy days of childhoodone relives them through children, Schumann
wrote in his diary on April 13, 1846.
1
He was fascinated by the naivety, freshness, and
innocence of childhood, and eager to transmit these characteristics into his music.
Schumann continued throughout his life collecting musical materials and composing
poetic cycles of the theme.

Schumanns Music for Children

The piano was Schumanns own instrument. He began his music career as a
pianist, and found it easier to express himself through it. It is not surprising that his
creative output for piano has provided some of the most imaginative and touching music
for children. Schumanns first childhood collection is found in the Kinderszenen, Op. 15,
composed in spring 1838. Although the work is indeed composed for an adult performer,
portraying an adults reminiscences of childhood, conception and technique tend to be
extremely simple throughout the entire set. Liszt told Schumann in 1839, before meeting


1
Robert Schumann, Tagebcher, II: 1836-1854, ed. Gerd Nauhaus (Leipzig: VEB Deutscher
Verlag fr Musik, 1987), 400, quoted in Daverio, 561, endnote 46.
21
him in 1840, how his daughter Blandine clamored for these pieces, of which she never
tired. He wrote:
Two or three times a week I play your Kinderszenen to her [my daughter] in
the evening; this enchants her, and me still more, as you can imagine.
2

Piano music for children came later in Schumanns output when he had his own children,
including the Album for the Young, Op. 68 (1848), the Three Piano Sonatas for the
Young, Op. 118 (1853), and sets of piano duetsthe Twelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces for
Small and Big Children, Op. 85 (1850), the Ball Scenes, Op. 109 (1851), and the
Childrens Ball, Op. 130 (1853). For Schumann, nature and childhood were alike, and the
topic of forests was never missed. The result of this forest romanticism is the
Waldszenen, Op. 82, a musical Mrchen composed in 1849. Though these piano works
were written in different periods of Schumanns lifeyouth, maturity, and late years
the same childlike freshness and beauty are kept and carefully expressed. Complete and
detailed discussions of these works will be given in the following chapters.
In addition to the piano compositions, the childhood subject is also presented in
other genres in Schumanns musicsongs, chamber music, and works for voice and
orchestra. The collection of piano pieces, Album for the Young, was published in
December 1848. It was well received and became popular in a short time. Between April
and May, Schumann composed a vocal counterpart to it, the Song Album for the Young,
Op. 79. The songbook contains twenty-nine songs, most of them for solo voice and piano
plus a handful of ensemble lieder with piano, arranged in order of increasing technical
difficulty, length, and expressive range. Schumann took particular care in choosing


2
Eleanor Pernyi, Liszt: The Artist as Romantic Hero (Boston: Little, Brown and Company,
1974), 135.
22
poems by various poets including Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Goethe, Schiller, Mrike,
and Rckert. As the composer told his publisher Emanuel Klitzsch:
I have selected poems appropriate to childhood, from the best poets and arranged
them in order of difficulty. At the end comes Mignon, on the threshold of a more
complex emotional life.
3

The set is a series of lyrical and exquisite miniatures; both the vocal line and the
accompaniment are folk-like simple and beautifully written. The Song Album for the
Young contains many parallels to its counterpart, the Album for the Young. Orphan child,
May songs, hunting songs, winter scenes, and Christmas themes, for example, all appear
in both sets. Among the masterpieces in the Song Album for the Young are the delicate
Schmetterling, the peaceful Sonntag, the vivid Der Sandmann, the playful
Marienwrchen, and the charming Er ists, which all mirror the innocence of an
idealized childhood. Clara noted when Schumann finished the cycle:
All the songs breathe and spirit of perfect peace, they seem to me like spring, and
laugh like blossoming flowers.
4

Indeed, the laughter in springtime of Schumanns songs parallels the same theme in the
texts, especially those by Fallersleben.
During the late years of his life, Schumann became enthusiastic about the poetry
of Elisabeth Kulmann, who was a prodigy poet and died in 1825 of consumption at the
age of seventeen. Since Kulmann was not a well-known poet of the nineteenth century, it
has become a fashionable claim that Schumanns admiration for her poems was the


3
Eric Sams, The Songs of Robert Schumann, 3d ed. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
1993), 197.

4
Litzmann, Clara Schumann, vol. 1, 454.
23
result of failing powers of judgement.
5
But his enthusiasm for Kulmann was not the
evidence of a deteriorated mind. By the time she died, she had produced nearly a
thousand poems and had created a sensation with her voluminous writings in Russian,
German, and Italian, and with her translations, which Goethe, J ean Paul, and other
contemporaries commented on favorably.
6
Like Mignon, a character in Goethes novel
Wilhelm Meister, Kulmann died so young as a tragic figure. Schumann seemed to have
been touched by her personal fate. He kept a portrait of Kulmann by the desk in his home
in Dsseldorf, and even in Endenich he still asked Brahms to send him her poetry.
7

Schumanns fascination with Kulmann, a child as poet, led him to set eleven of her
poems to music in 1851, four as the Mdchenlieder, Op. 103, for soprano, alto, and
piano, and seven as the solo song cycle Sieben Lieder, Op. 104. These songs were not
written for the young singers but rather as an adults sentimental imagination of children,
and almost all require accomplished and artistic performers.
The Sieben Lieder, Op. 104, dedicated to the memory of Kulmann, were designed
to introduce the poets brief life. Together with these songs, Schumann published a short
eulogy entitled dedication to which he added Kulmanns biographical information and
brief comments on each poem. The musical style of the cycle is transparent simplicity
and calmness. The voice, which usually begins without the introduction, produces simple
direct melodies, and the accompaniment is economical and bare in texture. The
characteristics are evident in the first song, Mond, meiner Seele Liebling (Moon, my


5
Martin Cooper, The Songs, in Schumann: A Symposium, ed. Gerald Abraham (London: Oxford
University Press, 1952), 118.

6
Ostwald, Schumann, 251.

7
Schumanns letter of 20 March 1855 to Brahms, in Litzmann, Letters, vol. 1, 36.
24
souls beloved), for instance, revealing Schumanns purpose of giving the music the
appearance of childlike naivet (Example 1).

Example 1. Mond, meiner Seele Liebling, Op. 104, No. 1, mm. 1-8



The most successful in the set is the fourth song, Der Zeisig (The finch). Two
competing canonic lines between the voice and the piano delightfully catch the idea of a
song contest between child and bird (Example 2).



25
Example 2. Der Zeisig, Op. 104, No. 4, mm. 1-11


Among the numerous titles Schumann composed in his late years, the expressive
Mrchen, or fairy-tale, appears over and over: Mrchenbilder for viola and piano, Op.
113, Mrchenerzahlungen for clarinet, viola, and piano, Op. 132, and the oratorio Der
Rose Pilgerfahrt (The Pilgrimage of the Rose), Op. 112. The Pilgrimage of the Rose is
Schumanns most extensive Mrchen work,
8
the last of his works in oratorio style. He
composed it between April and September 1851, after a rhymed fairy-tale by a little-
known poet Moritz Horn. The work had been cast as a chamber oratorio for solo voices,
chorus, with piano accompaniment, which Schumann thought perfectly adequate to the


8
J ensen, 342.
26
fanciful subject.
9
However, urged by friends and acquaintances and for the work to be
available to larger circles,
10
Schumann wrote the orchestral accompaniment, which
Wilhelm J oseph von Wasielewski described as follows: fine spiritual instrumentation
increase the charm of coloring, no idea of which can be given by a piano.
11
Liszt
summed up the work in the Neue Zeitschrift fr Musik in 1855:
Der Rose Pilgerfahrt belongs to those images that one might call visions of poetic
mysticismhere, clouds become fragrances, waves moving tones; here, everything
is a transparent allegory of an inexpressible feeling, and the symbol charms us like
those nave chains of ideas whose puzzles we often pursue with the meaningful
questions of childhood.
12


The song-like arioso character, rather than the recitative-like stylistic manner, and the
expressive mood make this oratorio a charming and agreeable musical idyll, which is
more German and rustic in nature,
13
as Schumann referred to it. The rustic charm, an
element of German folk-like character, governs the work (Example 3).








9
Schumanns letter of 29 September 1851 to Moritz Horn, in Wasielewski, 250.

10
Ibid., 250.

11
Ibid., 176.

12
Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann (1855), trans. R. Larry Todd, in Schumann and His World, ed.
R. Larry Todd (Princeton, N.J .: Princeton University Press, 1994), 349-50.

13
J ensen, 343, quoting Hermann Erler, Robert Schumanns Leben: Aus seinen Briefen geschildert,
vol. 2 (Berlin: Ries & Erler, 1887), 61.
27
Example 3. Der Rose Pilgerfahrt, No. 12, Op. 112, mm. 1-6



The Pilgrimage of the Rose is divided into two parts, comprising twenty-four
numbers, but without lacking formal unity. Schumanns cyclical idea of the work is
strengthened in three ways. First, there are many musical sections flowing gracefully into
the next without break, giving the impression of a consistent stream of music. Second,
Schumanns harmonic language is expressed by an elaborate use of keys: related thirds
and fifths, relative keys, and major and minor parallel keys, as well as sudden shifts to
remote keys for the introduction of a new color. Third, a brief motive representing the
main character, the Rose, recurs at times, although it is employed without complexity.
The entire work has a broad melodic spectrum, and is a charming and fresh inspiration.
The very opening has the lyrical openness of Schubert (Example 4), its freshness
enhanced by the later interplay of solo voices and womens chorus.


28
Example 4. Der Rose Pilgerfahrt, No. 1, Op. 112, mm. 1-24

The idiom suggests the folk-based writing, innocent and in fact subtle. A spirit of
freshness and youthfulness runs through The Pilgrimage of the Rose, Schumanns
musical world of the Mrchen, as in his Kinderszenen and other piano and song
collections for children.
The four Mrchenbilder, Op. 113, for viola and piano were written in March 1851
and dedicated to Wasielewski, concertmaster of Schumanns Dsseldorf orchestra at that
29
time, who first performed them with Clara. Schumanns household books records various
titles for the work as Violageschichten, Mrchengeschichten, Mrchen, and
Mrchenlieder.
14
But he eventually decided to use a visual art form Bilder (pictures)
rather than concrete Geschichten (stories). Schumann had lifelong interest in painting and
sculpture. During his years in Dresden and Dsseldorf from 1844 to 1854, he had
considerably close contact with the two schools of German painters, among the most
significantly Alfred Rethel, Karl Friedrich Lessing, Eduard Bendemann, Ludwig Richter,
and J ohann Wilhelm Schirmer. Rethels work Monatsbilder (Monthly Pictures) might
have inspired Schumann to compose the musical equivalent Mrchenbilder, Op. 113.
15

The four movements obtain their coherence not from any shared thematic or motivic
element, but rather from a common D tonalitythe first and third in D minor, the second
in the relative major F, and the final in D major. The main emphasis falls on the opening
movement, which is a free form consisting of two themes. The remaining three
movements are in sectional forms. All pieces are full of romantic music evocative of the
atmosphere of fairy tales and contain deeply expressive passages.
Following from the earlier Mrchenbilder, the Mrchenerzahlungen, Op. 132,
composed for clarinet, viola, and piano in October 1853, a few months before his fatal
breakdown, makes up Schumanns final example of the whole series of works both for
and about children. The title Fairy Stories suggests that the four movements are lyrical
character pieces intended to tell favorite stories of childhood. It stresses a sort of narrative
in music, although there is no direct reference to an underlying program. The piano


14
Ibid., 342, quoting Robert Schumann, Haushaltbcher, II: 1837-1856, ed. Gerd Nauhaus
(Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag fr Musik, 1982), 554-56.

15
Botstein, 38.
30
almost always plays a dominating role in this unusual instrumentation (Mozart created
the instrumentation of clarinet, viola and piano in his Trio, K. 498). The work illustrates
the search for new tone colors. The choice of the clarinet and viola is suitable to the
introspective situations due to their rich and warm tones, and it produces a mood of
nostalgia towards the old happy times. Schumanns setting of the work is condensed; the
music is increasingly agitated and the form is rhapsodically free. The passionate
Florestan and the dreamy Eusebius, two important characters in the Davidsbndler that
correspond to aspects of Schumann himself, are still evident in the Mrchenerzahlungen,
one of the last works he was able to write, particularly in the third movement and the
final movement (Examples 5a and 5b).

Example 5a. Mrchenerzahlungen, Op. 132, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-9


31
Example 5b. Mrchenerzahlungen, Op. 132, 4
th
movement, mm. 1-7



The music of Mrchenerzahlungen is a touching final glimpse of the magical and
fantastical world of Schumanns immense imagination. In 1990, almost one and half
centuries later, the Hungarian composer Gyrgy Kurtg completed his Hommage R.
Sch., Op. 15d, for clarinet, viola and piano, on the inspiration of Schumanns
Mrchenerzahlungen.
There is another clue in Schumanns compositions to what childhood meant to
him. Mignon, the mysterious and fascinating girl created by Goethe in his Wilhelm
Meister as the symbol of poetic childhood, was a character to which Schumann was
particularly attracted, and inspired him to compose several musical works. In Goethes
novel, the Italian little girl Mignon was abandoned and later abducted by vagrants who
32
brought her into Germany, where she became a child-waif and was forced to sing and
dance in a traveling theater troupe of entertainers. Mignons memorable lyrics in the
novel are filled with a sense of secrecy, grief and yearning for love and homeland.
16

These lyrics inspired many dramatic settings from numerous composers both before and
after Schumann, including Beethoven, Schubert, Loewe, Liszt, Gounod, Wolf, and
Tchaikovsky. The character of Mignon was indeed the appropriate symbol of childhood
for Schumannan ideal childhood rich in memories of the past and hopes in the future.
Mignon first appears in Schumanns piano collection Album for the Young, Op.
68, No. 35. In the story, Mignon appears as a mesmerizing child beauty and acrobat,
entertaining people with her precarious tightrope dance. Schumann originally titled this
piece Seiltnzermdchen (Tightrope dancing girl) in his sketchbook, but he later
crossed it out and changed it to Mignon.
17
Schumann perfectly conveys a delicate
tightrope walk in music with a right-hand halting melody as Mignons walking, set
against the seemingly unsteady fp markings on the fourth beat in mm. 1-4, thus evoking
the image of a swaying dancing girl (Example 6). The E flat major and the lovely
melodic material help the musical realization of Mignons sweet and delicate character.







16
Sams, 216.

17
Bernhard R. Appel, Actually, Taken Directly from Family Life: Robert Schumanns Album fr
die Jugend, trans. J ohn Michael Cooper, in Schumann and His World, 187.
33
Example 6. Mignon, Op. 68, No. 35, mm. 1-10


Following from the Album for the Young, Schumann set Mignons Kennst du das
Land in his Song Album for the Young, Op. 79, which serves as the conclusion of the
collection. The work was composed, in Schumanns words, amidst a veritable childrens
uproar,
18
and it inspired Schumann to set other poems from the novel. He went on to
write three more Mignon songs: Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, Heiss mich nicht
reden, and So lasst mich scheinen. These songs appear as the Nos. 3, 5, and 9 in
Schumanns collection of Goethe songs Lieder und Gesnge aus Goethes Wilhelm
Meister, Op. 98a. He then decided also to publish the Kennst du das Land as the
opening for the group of Goethe songs, thus Op. 98a No. 1. Clara first heard the excerpts
of the Wilhelm Meister songs on the day when Schumann finished the draft, and she was
profoundly affected.
19
The set of Op. 98a displays some of Schumanns most intense


18
Daverio, 425.

19
Litzmann, ClaraSchumann, vol. 1, 456.
34
songwritingdramatic qualities in the vocal part and quasi-orchestral conception in the
accompaniment. The style is perfectly illustrated in Mignons Heiss mich nicht reden,
Op. 98a, No. 5, which blurs the distinction between opera and song cycle in the
composers mind (Example 7).

Example 7. Heiss mich nicht redden, Op. 98a, No. 5, mm. 1-9




Schumann employs a three-note motive (F-sharp, A-flat, G) in Mignons songs as a
unifying tragic expression. The notes often appear both as melody and as harmony.
Schumanns devotion to Mignon did not end there. Related to Lieder und
Gesnge aus Goethes Wilhelm Meister is the Requiem fr Mignon, for five solo voices,
chorus and orchestra. The text set to music by Schumann is taken from Wilhelm Meisters
Apprenticeship and describes the funeral rites of Mignon. Schumann first wrote the work
35
in short score at the beginning of J uly, 1849, and orchestrated it in J uly and September
1849. The Requiem can be viewed as a continuation of the Goethe songs, and therefore it
was published, together with Op. 98a, as Op. 98b in 1849, the year in which the
hundredth anniversary of Goethes birth was celebrated. Liszt commented on this work in
an issue of the Neue Zeitschrift fr Musik in 1855:
The Requiem for Mignon performed the rare service of enriching the consummate
creation of a master with a new idea, a fortunately successful stroke. This last
lament, this thousandfold sigh repeated above a grave covering so much suffering
and beauty, so much yearning and misfortune, is like the final chord of an earthly
lot full of painful dissonances.
20

The Requiem fr Mignon is divided into six short sections following on without a break,
and it maintains a tone of profound simplicity and a gripping mood throughout. The
lyrical and mystical quality of Goethes text is displayed by the imaginative handling of
the chorus and solo voices. The orchestra also includes many unforgettable touches, such
as the arpeggios in the harp starting in mm. 71 in the third section, where the incredibly
enchanting effect is achieved by a sudden dynamic change from forte to piano and a
harmonic switch from a C-major chord to a half-diminished 6/5 chord on note A.
Schumann avoids contrapuntal intricacies in the work and employs full harmonic
progression in favor of simple and expressive melody. Near the end of the work, he wrote
an unexpected chromatic turn, which interrupts the foremost diatonic flow, creating
extraordinary original and fresh sound (Example 8).





20
Liszt, Schumann (1855), 350.
36
Example 8. Requiem fr Mignon, No. 6, Op. 98b, mm. 355-371



The chorus concludes the work in an unusual 6/4 chord in F major, which strikingly
contrasts to the C minor funeral music at the beginning and accords perfectly with the
final words: Up! Children, hasten to life! Up! Schumann does not give the Requiem the
37
traditional funeral music treatment and significance. Rather, his setting is bittersweet and
poetic. The Requiem fr Mignon is one of the most appealing and moving productions in
Schumanns choral compositions, for in it he has recaptured the grace and beauty of the
original Mignon character.

The Late Works and Hausmusik



Upon close observation of Schumanns music for and about children, one finds
that all the works, except the Kinderszenen, were composed during the last six years of
his career (1848-1853). This raises a point of contention: the value and quality of the
music that Schumann composed during his final years. The frequently repeated claim is
that Schumanns mental disorder had affected his late works. They have been perceived
as undistinguished, academic, incoherent, and uninspired. Wasielewski, the first
biographer of Schumann, denies any merit to the works that were composed about a year
before the final mental collapse of the composer.
21
Frederick Niecks in his book
considers that evidence of Schumanns approaching breakdown came during his years in
Dresden (1845-1850): His creative powers were already on the wanethe occasional
successes cannot blind us to the frequent dimnesses.
22
The opinion expressed by Victor
Basch was quite typical: Not one of the works enumerated in it [the list of compositions
between 1851 and 1853] has survived, and they reveal an undoubted decline in the


21
Wasielewski, 180.

22
Niecks, 4.
38
composers creative power.
23
Ronald Taylor, in his 1982 biography of Schumann,
concludes that the music of the composers late years was created under the influence of
a deteriorated mind: These late works of Schumanns fail to live up to their promise and
leave an uncomfortable sense of dissatisfaction and confusion which the characteristic
works of his early imagination do not.
24

But Schumann had been mentally unstable all his life. He had been tormented by
fears of insanity since the age of eighteen, and had contemplated suicide on at least three
occasions in the 1830s. A brief summary of Schumanns clinical history, provided by
Eliot Slater, shows that Schumann was generally in good spirits, despite some mild
depression, during the years between 1849 and 1853, and he showed no evidence of
schizophrenic symptoms in that period of time.
25
Eric Frederick J ensen, in his new book
on Schumann, offers new evidence that Schumann had returned to sufficient health to
justify his removal from confinement a year before his death.
26
Unfortunately,
Schumanns physicians completely misunderstood the nature of his illness and
overlooked his sanity; therefore, this led to the fact that his mental disorder was
exacerbated by the treatment he received at Endenich.
27
More recent research has
reevaluated Schumanns late music, attempting to refute the unconvincing common
dismissal of his late works as the result of an unstable mind.


23
Victor Basch, Schumann: A Life of Suffering, trans. Catherine Alison Phillips (New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1931), 199.

24
Taylor, 276.

25
Eliot Slater, Schumanns Illness, in Schumann and His World, 409-10.

26
J ensen, 318-26.

27
Ibid., 330.
39
During the last six years of his creative life, including his astonishingly
productive period in Dresden in 1848-1849 and his final career in Dsseldorf in 1850-
1853, Schumann wrote more than eighty compositions, which are in excess of half of his
entire works. Among them one can find all the major genresconcerto, symphony,
orchestral compositions, chamber music, piano pieces, dramatic works, as well as solo
songs and choral music. These late works demonstrate a change of musical style
noticeable in Schumanns late years, featured by the rich development of motivic
combinations, increasing angularity of themes, more complicated harmony, often-
continuous and asymmetrical melodies, cyclical interconnections of movements, and
compression in form. It seems that Schumann in his late career decided to make an
attempt to move with the times and to look for something new, not to repeat himself. Like
the prejudice against his mental illness, unfavorable criticisms directed to Schumanns
late works were created partly due to the development of this late style. It has been
generally thought that his late music bears little comparison to the works written in his
early years. The innovations seemed not to be comprehended and appreciated by
Schumanns contemporaries. But he is still Schumann, and his essential spirit is still
there. Of course it is true that not all of these late works are masterpieces or the most
attractive, but they are consistently high in quality
28
and continue to show Schumann
still at the height of his powers. Genoveva (Op. 81, opera), Manfred (Op. 115, incidental
music), the Cello Concerto (Op. 129), theThird Symphony (Op. 97), the Violin Sonatas
(Op. 105, 121), the Violin Concerto (WoO 23), the Requiem (Op. 148), Scenes from
Goethes Faust (WoO 3), and the last songs of Des Sngers Fluch (Op. 139), to mention


28
Daverio, 459.
40
a few, are among some of the most significant music written by Schumann in his late
career.
Aside from his creation of large-scale forms, Schumann also in his late years
devoted himself extensively to compositions of various types of Hausmusik, including
piano music, songs, choral partsongs, and chamber music. Hausmusik, as the word
indicates, is a German term for modest music to be practiced and performed at home by
family and friends for their own entertainment, particularly among the middle class as
opposed to the aristocracy. Its German national traits represent seriousness, simplicity,
and Volksthmlichkeit in opposition to the frivolous, artificial French national
characteristics.
29
It is in a sense of domestic music makingprivate and intimate,
distinct from that of the concert music in public style.
Schumanns works falling into the category of Hausmusik cover a broad range of
genres. In addition to piano music written for and about children (Op. 68, 82, 85, 109,
118, and 130), Schumann composed numerous playful sets mainly for adult amateurs: a
four-hand piano work Bilder aus dem Osten, Op. 66; vocal compositions Spanisches
Liederspiel, Op. 74 (for one, two, and four voices and piano), Vier Duette, Op. 78 (for
soprano and tenor), and the Song Album for the Young, Op. 79; choral compositions
Romanzen und Balladen, Op. 67 and 75; and chamber works for various solo instruments
and piano, including the Adagio und Allegro for horn, Op. 70, the Phantasiestcke for
clarinet, Op. 73, the Fnf Stcke im Volkston for cello, Op. 102, the Drei Romanzen for
oboe, Op. 94, along with the Mrchenbilder, Op. 113 and the Mrchenerzahlungen, Op.
132, which both have already been discussed earlier in this chapter.


29
Anthony Newcomb, Schumann and the Marketplace: From Butterflies to Hausmusik, in
Nineteenth-Century Piano Music, ed. R. Larry Todd (New York: Schirmer Books, 1990), 272.
41
The earliest use of the term Hausmusik was in a series of articles entitled The
History of Hausmusik in Past Centuries in the Neue Zeitschrift fr Musik between
1837 and 1839 by the Leipzig organist and musicologist Carl Ferdinand Becker.
30
The
term soon gained common use and retained a sociological significance. With its
entertaining and pedagogical functions, Hausmusik became the focus of a musical and
cultural movement in Germany in the 1840s and beyonda movement concerned with a
way of life founded in peaceful domestic harmony, reflected also in the domestic
architecture and the decorative arts and painting of the period. In the visual arts the best
example of the movement is represented by Ludwig Richters engraving Hausmusik
(1856), made for the frontispiece of Wilhelm Heinrich Riehls song collection under the
same title. According to J ohn Daverio, Hausmusik amounts to a quintessential
Biedermeier
31
taste: withdrawal from the outer tumult into that most hallowed of spaces,
the domestic interior, its security ensured by generational and cultural ties.
32

Schumanns Hausmusik in his late career reflected this taste. Anthony Newcomb in his
essay reports Schumanns change of aesthetic attitude in the 1840s:
In explaining this abrupt change of direction, we might reasonably reject the
conclusion that Roberts spring of youthful romantic inspiration ran dry around 1840;
also the conclusion that his mind was showing early signs of the disintegration that
was to lead him to the mental institution some fourteen years later. He had
recognized that the [early] style of music that he found most natural and by which he
placed most store had not found public acceptance and would seemingly never gain




30
Daverio, 404.

31
A term applied to bourgeois life and art in German-speaking countries in Europe between 1815
(the Treaty of Vienna) and 1848 (the year of revolutions). Derived from the name of a fictitious
schoolmaster, it is used in music as a description of the everyday musical culture of the period rather than
as a designation of a school or a common creative mood.

32
Daverio, 405.
42
him the kind of public recognition that he needed to survive professionally. He had to
try something else.
33

After Schumanns marriage to Clara in 1840, there was a hiatus of writing solo
piano music. Not until 1845, did he devote himself to a series of contrapuntal studies (Op.
56, 58, 60, and 72) for the pedal piano. When Schumann returned to piano music in 1848
with the Bilder aus dem Osten, Op. 66, and the Album for the Young, Op. 68, his ideal
now was both the socially and musically important Hausmusik. As the central point of the
musical and cultural movement in the mid-century, the concept of Hausmusik had
profound effects on Schumann. After surveying Schumanns piano music from the 1830s,
Newcomb concludes:
The changed aesthetic goals represented in the late pieces both for piano and for small
ensemble were part of an important cultural movement in Germanys musical world
of the 1840sa movement embraced with deep conviction by at least part of
Schumanns always divided personality. This movement and Schumanns response to
it are primary factors in the changes in Schumanns aesthetic attitudes.
34

While Schumanns Hausmusik resulted from social context, it was at the same
time closely related to his personal life. After their marriage, Schumann and Clara created
a household centered on music and their children. As a devoted and involved father, he
participated actively in his childrens livesplay, recreational activities, and education. It
is not strange that music was also an important part of their lives. The children studied
the piano with their mother and other teachers. In a letter of 5 May 1843 to Carl
Kossmaly, who was a composer and writer on musical subjects, Schumann expressed his
idea of future direction of composition:



33
Newcomb, 267-68.

34
Ibid., 270.
43
Times have changed with me too. I used to be indifferent to the amount of notice I
received, but a wife and children put a different complexion upon everything. It
becomes imperative to think of the future, desirable to see the fruits of ones labour
not the artistic, but the prosaic fruits necessary to life; these fame helps to bring forth
and multiply.
35

Inspired by his family life, which always provided him with peace and stability,
Schumann composed some Hausmusik for private use. As he confessed in a letter of 6
October 1848 to Carl Reinecke: They [the pieces from the Album for the Young] are
peculiarly dear to my heart, and truly belong to family life.
36
Financial motivation was often another major reason for Schumanns creation of
Hausmusik.
37
Domestic music making flourished in the nineteenth century. Affordable
by many of the middle-class, the piano became the principal domestic instrument. For
this reason, easy piano works, piano duets, and piano-accompanied songs, all intended for
home consumption, became the mainstay of nineteenth-century music printing and
publishing. Not surprisingly, the Album for the Young, Schumanns most admired
Hausmusik work, met with great success after its appearance in December 1848.
Schumann told his friend Ferdinand Hiller in April that the work had found speedy
circulation.
38
He also wrote to Franz Brendel on September18, 1849: The Album for
Youth has found a better market than almost any recent work: I have this from
the publisher himself; and the same is true of many of my songs.
39
Schumann received a


35
Schumann, The Letters, 242.

36
Wasielewski, 242.

37
J ensen, 231.

38
Schumanns letter of 10 April 1849 to Hiller, in Wasielewski, 245.

39
Ibid., 246.
44
generous payment of 226 talers for the work.
40
Since his composition of Hausmusik paid
so well at the time, he therefore would instinctively think of writing something in a
similar vein to maintain the financial success. The result was a flood of Hausmusik
throughout much of 1849. Schumann succeeded admirably. Financially, what he earned
in 1849 for his compositions reached the highest level by far (1275 talers).
41
Musically,
he found the quality of what was popular then, thus ensuring the musics appeal to the
public. In the hands of Schumann, Hausmusik, particularly his piano music for children,
reached notable artistic heights.



40
Appel, 182. He also reports that the publisher later offered Schumann an additional payment for
the unexpected success of the work.

41
J ensen, 231.



CHAPTER THREE
THE KINDERSZENEN AND THE ALBUM FOR THE YOUNG


The Kinderszenen: Schumann as a Poet

In early 1838 Schumann composed three piano cycles in rapid succession: the
Novelletten, Op. 21, the Kinderszenen, Op. 15, and Kreisleriana, Op. 16. The first two
works are in fact connected. Schumann originally intended to publish them together as a
single collection of pieces, in which the Kinderszenen served as a beginning to the
Novelletten.
1
But the final decision was to put them into separate publication.
Like many of Schumanns works, the Kinderszenen appear to have been inspired
by Clara, for as he wrote to her on March 17, 1838:
Ive discovered that nothing spurs the imagination more than anticipation and longing
for something or other; that was the case in these last days when I was just waiting
for your letter and filled books with compositionsstrange things, mad things, even
friendly thingsyou will really be surprised when you play themI often feel that
Im going to burst because of all the music in meand before I forget what I
composedit was like a musical response to what you once wrote me, that I
sometimes seemed like a child to youin short, it was just as if I were wearing a
dress with flared sleeves, and I wrote about 30 droll little pieces, from which Ive
selected twelve, and Ive called them Kinderszenen. You will enjoy them, but, of
course, you will have to forget that you are a virtuosothere are titles like
FrighteningAt the FiresideCatch me if you canSuppliant Child
The Knight of the Hobby-HorseFrom Foreign CountriesFunny Story,
etc., and what not. In short, youll find everything, and at the same time they are as


1
Daverio, 165; J ensen, 168.
46
light as air.
2

In fact, the published set in September 1839 consists of thirteen pieces, each with a
separate title.
3
Following his usual practice, Schumann added these titles after he had
composed them, as further guide to their interpretation. Although there was no dedicatee,
Schumann, in his heart, wrote these pieces for Clara. He described the nature of the work
to her as light and gentle and happy like our future.
4
In a letter dated April 15, 1838,
Schumann told Clara that the Kinderszenen will probably be finished when you arrive; I
like them very much; I impress people a lot when I play them, especially myself.
5
The
Kinderszenen were also among Claras favorites:
They belong only to the two of us, dont they? And they are always on my mind;
they are so simple, warm, so quite like you; I cant wait till tomorrow when I can
play them again.
6


From the technical view, the Kinderszenen contain no great difficulties, simple
and accessible to children, yet Schumann did not by any means have interpretation by
children in mind. Unlike his later Album for the Young, which Schumann wrote for his
children to play, the Kinderszenen were retrospective glances by a parent and for grown
folks, as the composer emphasized in a letter to Carl Reinecke on October 6, 1848.
7



2
The Complete Correspondence, vol. 1, 123-24.

3
Robert Polansky claims that the sketches of pieces rejected from the Kinderszenen are located in
one of Schumanns manuscripts, dated from early in 1838, now in the possession of the Library of
Congress. It contains a mixture of sketches and fair copies of piano pieces, some of which later become
part of the Albumbltter, Op. 124. See Robert Polansky, The Rejected Kinderszenen of Robert
Schumanns Opus 15, Journal of the American Musicological Society 31 (Spring 1978): 126-31.

4
The Complete Correspondence, vol. 1, 225.

5
Ibid., 149.

6
Claras letter of 21 March 1839 to Schumann, in The Complete Correspondence, vol. 2, 123.

7
Wasielewski, 242.
47
When the work appeared, the public reaction was not entirely favorable. To some, these
pieces seemed unimportant trifles, not worth taking seriously. The Berlin critic Ludwig
Rellstab of theVossische Zeitung, already prejudiced against Schumann, wrote in an
1839 review of the Kinderszenen that Schumann had set upon his piano a howling child,
and sought to give a realistic imitation of its tones.
8
Rellstab concentrated excessively
on the supposed programmatic content and wondered whether Schumann composed the
work earnestly. The criticism called forth Schumanns reaction on Rellstabs fallacious
point. He observed in a letter of 5 September 1839 to Heinrich Dorn:
I scarcely ever saw any thing more awkward and shallow than Rellstabs review of
the Scenes of Childhood. He thinks, forsooth, that I set up a sobbing child, and
sought for music in its tears. Its just the reverse. Still I do not deny that I had a few
childish heads in my eye while composing; but the titles, of course, did not occur to
me till afterwards, and are merely hints for the execution and conception of the
music. But Rellstab cant always look beyond A, B, C: he wants nothing but
accords.
9

The pieces are fleeting evocations of the world of children and retrospective views of
childhood by Schumann. The picturesque titles are apparently afterthoughts. Though
simple, they are among Schumanns most inspired creations in their intimate poetry and
perfection of craftsmanship.
It was as a poet that Schumann first entered the world of childhood. As a poet
and composer in one person,
10
he expresses his intentions in the title of the last piece
The poet speaks, which serves as the motto for the entire cycle. In the Kinderszenen,
childhood inspired Schumann in various ways: memories, dreams, hopes, candor, and


8
Schauffler, 326.

9
Wasielewski, 220.

10
Daverio, 30.
48
gamesall of them lost paradise. These moments of innocence contain considerable
artistry and a deep poetic sensibility. Bittendes Kind (Pleading child, No. 4) is a plaintive
and longing piece in D major. It consists of four four-measure phrases, each including a
melody and its echo in pianissimo. The pleas are left with the question on its final
dominant seventh chord, other than the tonic, which is answered in the following piece in
the same key (Examples 9a and 9b).

Example 9a. Bittendes Kind, Op. 15, No. 4, mm. 14-17

V7

Unresolved Dominant
7
th
Chord
Example 9b. Glckes genug, Op. 15, No. 5, mm. 1-4

V7 I6/4


The fifth piece Glckes genug (Perfect happiness) satisfies all the childs entreaties and
expresses a kind of nave contentedness. The lively canonic dialogues between the
soprano and bass lines reflect Schumanns contrapuntal studies at the time. Altered notes
49
in the piece help to create a bouncy, happy character, and the shift from D major to F
major in mm. 17 enhances the happiness. In Fast zu Ernst (Almost too serious, No. 10),
Schumann introduces the young dreamer Eusebius after the excitement of the preceding
piece, Ritter vom Steckenpferd (Knight of the hobby-horse, No. 9). The use of the
somewhat melancholic key of G sharp minor emphasizes the seriousness. Schumann here
expresses the inner meaning of the title: let children act as children. The charming lullaby
Kind im Einschlummern (Child falling asleep, No. 12) gives a loving portrayal of a
sleeping child, created by the sustained mood and appealing harmonies. The piece is in
the key of E minor, while the middle section is in the parallel E major, where the music
approaches a beautiful dreamthe childs breathing gets deeper (Example 10).

Example 10. Kind im Einschlummern, Op. 15, No. 12, mm. 7-16


Like the fourth piece, Kind im Einschlummern is left unfinished with a harmony other
than the tonic. In this case, it ends in A minor, the subdominant of E minor (Example 11).
50
Example 11. Kind im Einschlummern, Op. 15, No. 12, mm. 25-32

iv

Unresolved Subdominant
Chord
By this time, the childhood scenes have finished and the poet has spoken. The epilogue,

Der Dichter spricht (The poet speaks, No. 13), is the most penetratingly childlike

inspiration of all and sums up the lyric poetry of the entire cycle. It is a typical epilogue

of Schumann, beautiful, expressive, and wholly introverted. Beginning with a slow,

solemn and chorale-like melody, it soon breaks off into eloquent and declamatory

recitative (Example 12).

Example 12. Der Dichter spricht, Op. 15, No. 13, mm. 1-12

51
It is Schumann, the poet, who speaks about childhood, his memories, and his hopes as he
thinks of Clara. With the final piece, Der Dichter spricht, the cycle ends quietly and
introspectively. Schumann has indeed perfectly combined the poetry and music, both
described by him as the most beautiful of all the arts,
11
into a series of crafted
miniatures, his Kinderszenen. The composer-music critic Carl Kossmaly (1812-1893)
published a review of Schumanns piano compositions in the Allgemeine musikalische
Zeitung in 1844. He mentioned the Kinderszenen as follows:
The composer has succeeded in immersing himself so completely in certain moods,
states, and memorable moments of the childs world and in possessing it musically
to such a degree that a thoughtful visitor must feel most intensely moved and vividly
impressed by it. How is this unusual effect producedhow is the listener transported
into such a perfect illusion? By the truth of the description, the naturalness of the
coloration; because the tone poet has become utterly at one with his subject, has lived
his way completely into or rather back to it, in a word: because he has most
auspiciously achieved the gently nave, genuinely childlike tone that issues forth so
sweetly and so free of care.
12

Although the Kinderszenen were selected from about thirty little pieces, they are
not merely a random selection of miniatures but are rather a complete and unified cycle.
Several factors combine to produce overall consistency and unity. One of these is the
motivic interrelationship in which the opening phrase of No. 1, Von fremden Lndern und
Menschen (About foreign lands and people), provides a recurring thematic link for nearly
all the following pieces. According to Rudolph Reti, the Kinderszenen are demonstrably




11
Robert Schumann, On the Inner Relationship of Poetry and Music, A Speech [1827], in Linda
Siegel, trans., Music in German Romantic Literature: A Collection of Essays, Reviews and Stories (Novato,
CA: Elra Publications, 1983), 264.

12
Carl Kossmaly, On Robert Schumanns Piano Compositions (1844), trans. Susan Gillespie, in
Schumann and His World, 311.
52
a theme with variations.
13
It is not only that of childhood theme itself but also the
musical properties of the opening piece. The motive of the rising sixth with a four-note
falling figure,
14
which opens Von fremden Lndern und Menschen (Example 13),
reappears at original pitches in Nos. 2, 4, and 11 (Examples 14a, 14b, and 14c), and at
transposed pitches in Nos. 6, 7, and 9 (Examples 15a, 15b, and 15c), among others.

Example 13. Von fremden Lndern und Menschen, Op. 15, No. 1, mm. 1-4

The Main Motif


Example 14a. Kuriose Geschichte, Op. 15, No. 2, mm. 1-4







13
Rudolph Reti, Schumanns Kinderszenen: A Theme with Variations, in The Thematic Process
in Music (London: Faber & Faber, 1961), 31-55.

14
Reti calls it the main motif.
53
Example 14b. Bittendes Kind, Op. 15, No. 4, mm. 1-3


Example 14c. Frchtenmachen, Op. 15, No. 11, mm. 1-8



Example 15a. Wichtige Begebenheit, Op. 15, No. 6, mm. 1-4




54
Example 15b. Trumerei, Op. 15, No. 7, mm. 1-4




Example 15c. Ritter vom Steckenpferd, Op. 15, No. 9, mm. 1-8



Schumanns structure in the work is precisely judged and well proportioned. In
the cycle the cheerful and lively pieces (Nos. 3, 5, 9, and 11) are interspersed with other
deeply romantic and melancholic poetry (Nos. 4, 7, 10, and 13). There are also pieces
ambivalent in character, which seem to combine liveliness and serenity (Nos. 1, 2, 6, 8,
and 12). Schumann intended Nos. 4 and 5, 12 and 13 as inseparable pairs. Moreover, he
placed the cycles two most poignant pieces, Trumerei (Dreaming, No. 7) and Der
Dichter spricht (No. 13), in the structurally important positions of middle and end, where
the well-known Trumerei serves as a central slow movement for the set and Der Dichter
spricht functions as a postlude.
55
Like other Schumanns piano and song cycles, the key scheme of the
Kinderszenen is well integrated. The principal key is G major to which the other keys
used are closely relatedD major, B minor, A major, F major, C major, E minorso
that overall tonal coherence results.

Table 1. Kinderszenen, key scheme and formal structure
Titles Keys Formal structure
Von fremden Lndern und Menschen G ABA
Kuriose Geschichte D AABABA
Haschemann b ABA
Bittendes Kind D ABCA
Glckes genug D AAB
Wichtige Begebenheit A ABA
Trumerei F ABA coda
Am Kamin F ABA coda
Ritter vom Steckenpferd C ABA
Fast zu ernst g# ABABA
Frchtenmachen G ABACABA
Kind im Einschlummern e ABA
Der Dichter spricht G ABA coda


In their motivic interconnection, compositional structure, and key scheme, the pieces of
theKinderszenen, like the Davidsbndler, Carnaval, and Kreisleriana, represent
Schumanns compositional type at this period in which small pieces are organized as a
unified whole.





56
The Album for the Young: Imaginative Miniatures of Childhood

Schumann composed the Album for the Young, Op. 68, in 1848, ten years after the
Kinderszenen. The basic distinction between the two volumes has already been noted. In
contrast to theKinderszenen, the Album for the Young, a collection of forty-three pieces,
contains foreshadowings, presentiments, and peeps into futurity, for the young.
15

Like some of Schumanns Hausmusik, the Album for the Young was first
conceived through personal and family considerations. For his oldest daughter Maries
seventh birthday on 1 September 1848, Schumann composed eight piano pieces on 30
and 31 August. He wrote the following entry in his household book on 31 August: Idea
for an album for the childrenminiatures for Marie.
16
In addition to the eight pieces
(six of them appeared later in theAlbum for the Young as Op. 68 Nos. 2-7), Maries
birthday album contains six further pieces for piano, one by Schumann himself and five
borrowings or arrangements of pieces by J .S. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and
Schubert. The title given for the album is Little Pieces for Piano/for Maries Seventh
Birthday/the 1
st
of September 1848/from her Papa.
17
The project, however, was not
finished. With his broader perspectives, probably for which his growing children had a
practical use, Schumann started to write additional pieces for piano beginning on 2
September. The entries of his household book for September show the Album for the


15
Schumanns letter of 6 October 1848 to Reinecke, in Wasielewski, 242.

16
Appel, 171, quoting Robert Schumann, Tagebcher, Band III: Haushaltbcher, Teil II: 1847-
1856, ed. Gerd Nauhaus (Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag fr Musik, 1988), 469.

17
Ibid., 172.
57
Young taking shape.
18
By September 27, in a fury of creative energy, Schumann
completed the album with a total of forty-three pieces and was able to send them to the
publisher. He mentioned pieces in the album with especial satisfaction to Carl Reinecke
in letters on October 4
th
and 6
th
:
The Album, especially from No. 8 onward, will, I think, win many a smile from
you. I dont know when I felt so in mood for music. It fairly gushed forth.
The first thing in The Album was written for our eldest childs birthday; and in this
way one after another was called forth. It seemed as if I were beginning my life as a
composer anew, and youll see traces of the old humor.
19

Schumann also recorded the event in A Little Book of Memories for Our Children, dated
on 13 October 1848: Papa made a present of some childrens pieces to Marie for her
birthday, which he greatly enjoyed writing.
20
Schumanns desire of writing music specifically for children could be traced back
to a few years earlier. His children, especially Marie, seemed to arouse his delight in the
subject. On Christmas day of 1841, Schumann gave Clara and little Marie (about four
months old) a charming lullaby as a present.
21
In 1846 he had the idea of composing a
volume of childrens melodies for piano solo for Marie,
22
but the plan remained
unfulfilled until 1847. Schumann wrote down one of the childrens melodies in A Little
Book of Memories for Our Children:




18
Ibid., 172-73.

19
Wasielewski, 241-42.

20
E. Schumann, 215.

21
The Marriage Diaries, 124. The editor notes that the piece was published in 1854 as
Schlummerlied in the Albumbltter, Op. 124 No. 16.

22
Appel, 172.
58
Marie can now play twenty-two piano exercises; on J une 8 [1847], Papas thirty-
seventh birthday, she even played him one of his own little pieces, which goes like
this:
23



Example 16. Fr ganz Kleine






This piece, later entitled For the Very Small, was included in the sketches of Op. 68 but
did not appear in the published edition. Schumanns idea of producing a collection of
pieces for children also grew from his thought that the music commonly used for children
to play was poor in quality in his day. Clara noted in her diary in September 1848:
The pieces which children usually learn at their music-lessons are so bad, that Robert
hit on the idea of composing and publishing a volume (a sort of album) of childrens
pieces. He has already written a number of charming little pieces.
24
Although all the pieces in the Album for the Young were finished in about three
weeks, Schumann put careful consideration into them. According to the musical sketches,
provided by Bernhard R. Appel,
25
there are considerable revisions, showing that the total
conception of the work changed from the family consideration and private use to the
public realm and a more general artistic purpose. Originally, Schumann planned an album


23
E. Schumann, 212.

24
Litzmann, Clara Schumann, vol. 1, 446.

25
Appel, 193-98.
59
of works by himself and other composers. His selections of works by Bach, Handel,
Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Weber, Spohr, and Mendelssohn show that
at one point he considered them as pedagogical examples for music history and style.
Later, when he decided to publish the album as an opus, Schumann excluded these
works; therefore the Album for the Young consists of only Schumanns pieces. In
addition, with the broader artistic demands, he gave a number of pieces new titles to
suggest a more general quality though they remained musically unchanged: for instance,
Op. 68 No. 3, the Lullaby for Ludwig became the Humming Song.
Schumann first offered the Album to Brietkopf & Hrtel, but they declined to
publish it. He then turned to the Hamburg publisher J ulius Schuberth:
I applied to Mr. Schuberth to publish them, because haste is necessary, and because
I think that he always succeeds when he likes. And I will answer for it that this wont
be a bad bargain; for I think these will be the most popular of all my compositions.
The Album must have a handsome exterior.
26

The original title of the Album was Weihnachtsalbum fr Kinder, die gern Clavier spielen
(Christmas Album for Children, who like to play the piano). On the requirement of
Schuberth, Schumann changed the title to Clavierstcke fr die Jugend. Great care was
given to the design of the printed volume. With understanding of children, Schumann
asked his friend, Ludwig Richter, a well-known painter and illustrator, to design the
decorative title page of the work.
27
When the first edition appeared in 1848, the title page
contained ten of Richters vignettes, based on the titles of individual pieces in the Album.
Richters attractive illustrations, including The Merry Peasant (No. 10), Spring Song (No.
15), Mignon (No. 35), and the paired Wintertime I and II (Nos. 38 and 39), display the


26
Schumanns letter of 6 October 1848 to Reinecke, in Wasielewski, 242.

27
Ludwig Richter later also provided services to Schumanns Song Album for the Young, Op. 79.
60
visual presentation of Schumanns composition and the correspondence between picture
and music.
When Schumann composed the Album, he had the desire to educate his own
children as well as the public. His pedagogical purpose was underlined by a list of
aphorisms, which was originally planned as referring to the individual pieces. These
aphorisms first appeared in theNeue Zeitschrift fr Musik, 1850, Supplement No. 36. In
the second edition of 1851, now entitled Album fr die Jugend, Schumann included them
in the Musikalische Haus- und Lebensregeln (Musical Rules for House and Life),
published as an appendix to Op. 68, which contains sixty-eight maxims for children. In
his Musical Rules for House and Life, Schumanns pedagogical ideas were articulated
on a more general level.
28
His conception of the work now was a composite educational
and artistic statement, which had successfully combined the music, pictures, and texts.
Though the pieces in the Album for the Young remained simple, Schumann did
not abandon his cultured and poetic style. The lovable and tenderhearted nature in
Schumanns music is found here. Klaus Rnnau states that the Album is one of the few
works in the piano literature that successfully manages to combine pedagogic intentions
with artistic demands.
29
In his review of 1849, Alfred Drffel, a German librarian and
writer, judged theAlbum for the Young:
How very well suited they are to instructionthat is, not just to the technical
education of the hand, but also to musical education in the general sensemust
make the entire work extremely welcome to piano teachers.
30




28
Appel, 189.

29
Robert Schumann, Album fr die Jugend Op. 68, ed. Klaus Rnnau (Wien: Wiener Urtext
Edition, Musikverlag Ges. m. b. H. & Co., K. G.,1979), preface.

30
Newcomb, 273.
61
Because of its size, stylistic variety, and educational value, Schumanns Album for the
Young has a pedagogical importance unrivaled since J . S. Bachs Inventions, Sinfonias,
and the Little Notebook for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. It has remained the prototype for
countless childrens pieces since.
The Album for the Young is divided into two parts: Fr Kleinere (For the very

young), Nos. 1 to 18, and Fr Erwachsenere (For the more grown-up), Nos. 19 to 43,

proceeding progressively from the simple settings of melody-and-accompaniment texture

to the more challenging contrapuntal studies and reflective style. The pedagogical

concern is evident not only in the gradation of the difficulties but also within each piece.

All of the pieces in theAlbum are short: only two last over three minutes (Nos. 32

and 35, Sheherazade and Mignon) and many of the others last less than two minutes.

The writing is condensed in the whole collection. Designed with children in mind,

Schumann employs no difficult keysnothing goes beyond three flats and four sharps.

Moreover, all the pieces are in duple (2/4), common (4/4), or compound duple time

(6/8). Even without the use of triple time, the composer creates a rhythmic diversity

throughout the whole album. Each piece bears a descriptive title, with the exceptions of

Nos. 21, 26, and 30, which are designated by a triangular arrangement of stars as * *.
31
*
Also, each piece is designed to deal with a given problem of technique or a problem of
musical expression, which is not necessarily mentioned in the title but the nature of
which becomes immediately clear. The musical value of the pieces in theAlbum for the
Young is as important as their pedagogical and technical value. Schumann took into
account all the various components of music from the viewpoint of a Romantic


31
Clara Schumann proved that the titles to the pieces were created after they were finished. See E.
Schumann, 98.
62
composer: topics, poetics, fantasy, and descriptiveness.
In theAlbum for the Young there are many different references to types of genres,
forms, and styles. Some of the pieces are related to other genres of composition. They are
short, unified pieces, and each has its own drawn character which is maintained
throughout. One of the most famous among them is No. 2, Soldiers March. The strong
dotted eighth to sixteenth rhythm found throughout helps to define the pieces military
character. The Tarantella is explicit in No. 11, Sicilienne, and No. 36, Italian Mariners
Song, while the hunt is evident in No. 7, Hunting Song. The Musette appears once in The
Reapers Song, No. 18. Chorales are found in three pieces, No. 4, A ChoraleRejoice, O
My Soul, No. 41, Nordic Song, and No. 42, Figured Chorale. Written in four-voice
homophonic hymn style, these pieces provide studies of basic harmonic analysis and
preparation for understanding and playing Bachs chorales. Another group are various
types of contrapuntal pieces. In No. 16, First Loss, the descending melody, representing
the sighs, is followed by canonic imitations. No. 27, A Little Song in Canon, is a canon
at the octave, in which the subject comes in first in the soprano, and then in the tenor. The
subject also appears as an inversion a fifth below in the bass. This piece, along with A
Stranger (No. 29) whose A section is enlivened with imitation, prepares for the more
complex contrapuntal pieces later found in the collection. In No. 34, Theme, the one-
measure dotted motive is heard in all four voices in turns, creating continuous melodic
lines. No. 40, Little Fugue, contains a prelude and fugue, both in three voices. The
prelude is written in a contrapuntal manner, with 16
th
notes in both hands in scale and
broken chord figurations. The fugue subject is completely derived from the opening

63
phrase of its prelude, but Schumann artfully transforms the 2/4 perpetual-motion-like
quality into a 6/8 staccato dance-like character (Examples 17a and 17b).

Example 17a. Little Fugue, Op. 68, No. 40, prelude, mm. 1-4



Example 17b. Little Fugue, Op. 68, No. 40, fugue, mm. 1-4



The last contrapuntal study is No. 42, which is in fact an elaboration and transposition (G
major to F major) of the chorale tune in No. 4 (Example 18a). Here, Schumann provides
a different interpretation of an existing musical idea, in which the original is enriched
with reharmonization, flowing counter-melodies, and an ornamental coda (Example 18b).

64
Example 18a. A Chorale, Op. 68, No. 4



Example 18b. Figured Chorale, Op. 68, No. 42, mm. 1-8





65
In their formal structures, these pieces present similar features. The most common
is ternary form, which appears often in the Romantic character piece. One finds it most
times without elaboration, for instance, No. 3, Humming Song, No. 12, Knight Rupert,
No. 24, Harvest Song, No. 25, After the Theater, and No. 41, Northern Song. It appears
sometimes with a varied reprise, such as in A Little Folk Song, No. 9the simple melody
in the right hand of the first A section is repeated in the bass with a hymn-like style in the
concluding A section. Another large group of pieces are cast in binary or rounded binary
form. Examples are in No. 1, Melody, No. 10, The Happy Farmer, No. 32, Sheherazade,
and No. 43, New Years Eve Song. Schumann occasionally expands the basic ternary type
to a scheme of five or more sections in a fashion similar to the rondo. A single episode
appears twice in No. 6, Poor Orphan, No. 22, Roundelay, and No. 30, and two
contrasting episodes appear in No. 18, The Reapers Song and No. 39, Wintertime II. Yet
one can also find some unusual formal schemes. There is a binary structure with coda in
The Little Dawn-Wanderer, No. 17. In No. 36, Italian Mariners Song, the two-measure
introduction of dramatic tritone reappears at the end of the piece, right before the coda.
Two pieces display a freer sectional plan, which does not correspond to any recognized
scheme: No. 15, Spring Song (AABAB coda) and No. 23, The Horseman (ABABC
coda). Finally, Schumann makes No. 31, Battle Song, unique from a formal standpoint,
differing it from all other pieces in the Album. It is written as a single continuous whole
without using any separated sections, cadences, or repeats, thus creating a continual
unfolding of force and dynamics.
As already examined, Schumann had originally included some pieces by other
composers in the Album. Although excluded eventually, his idea of containing pieces in
66
historic styles is still emphasized by a series of homages to different composers. In
addition to the chorale and contrapuntal pieces in the style of J .S. Bach, to which
Schumann had a particular affinity, there are several pieces in the Album suggesting
Mendelssohn, who was a dear friend of the Schumanns and godfather to Marie. No. 13,
May, Dear May, Youll soon be here, is written in a style typical of Mendelssohn with
smoothly flowing melodies, abundant thematic repetition, and symmetrical design. No.
28, Remembrance, subtitled 4. November 1847, is dedicated to the memory of
Mendelssohn, whose early and sudden death took place in Leipzig on that date. The
Remembrance was in fact a musical echo to Schumanns note of 28 J anuary 1848 in the A
Little Book of Memories for Our Children:
The world has sustained a great, irreparable loss during this time in the death on
November 4 of Felix Mendelssohn. You, Mariechen, will be able later to appreciate
this. He was your godfather, and you possess a beautiful silver cup with his name.
You must value it greatly.
32

Schumanns indication sehr gesangvoll zu spielen (in a very singing style) reveals that
the heart of the piece is closely linked to Mendelssohns Songs without Words. It is
indeed in the manner of a solo song; the expressive, sometimes ornamented, melody in
balanced phrases is accompanied by a smooth sweeping bass line, which operates with
the same figuration pattern throughout (Example 19a).







32
E. Schumann, 214.
67
Example 19a. Remembrance, Op. 68, No. 28, mm. 1-10

Furthermore, its melodic fragment even resembles Schumanns own song. The melodic
line in the Remembrance recalls the opening vocal phrase of the song, Intermezzo
(Example 19b), from the Leiderkreis, Op. 39.

Example 19b. Intermezzo, from the Leiderkreis, Op. 39, No. 2, mm. 1-6

68
The three untitled numbers (21, 26, and 30) are among Schumanns most intimate
lyrical vein and are pure emanations of his Eusebian persona.
33
There is no direct
explanation from Schumann regarding the enigmatic triangular pattern; however, when
Eugenie Schumann asked her mother what the three little asterisks meant, Clara replied:
he [Schumann] might have meant the thoughts of parents about their children.
34
Nos.
26 and 30 again are apparent in Mendelssohns manner, while No. 21 is associated with
Beethoven. The piece opens with a quotation of the beginning of the trio Euch werde
Lohn in bessern Welten in Act II in Beethovens Fidelio (Examples 20a and 20b).

Example 20a. Op. 68, No. 21, mm. 1-4


Example 20b. Beethoven: the trio Euch werde Lohn in bessern Welten in Act II from
Fidelio, mm. 1-6




33
Daverio, 408.

34
E. Schumann, 99.
69
In addition, as J ohn Daverio points out, the closing cadence of No. 21 suggests the coda
of the first movement of Schumanns C-major Fantasie, Op. 17 (Examples 21a and 21b),
which quotes the final song of Beethovens An die ferne Geliebte.
35


Example 21a. Op. 68, No. 21, mm. 14-18


Example 21b. Fantasie, Op. 17, 1
st
movement, mm. 295-309



35
Daverio, 408.
70
Another Beethoven allusion takes place in No. 2, Soldiers March, whose beginning
measures recreate in duple time the theme from the Scherzo of Beethovens Spring
Sonata for piano and violin, Op. 24 (Examples 22a and 22b).

Example 22a. Soldiers March, Op. 68, No. 2, mm. 1-12


Example 22b. Beethoven: Spring Sonata for piano and violin, Op. 24, 3
rd
movement,
mm. 1-13


71
No. 41, Northern Song, subtitled Greeting to G, is written as a token of homage to the
Danish composer and friend of Schumann, Neils W. Gade (1817-1890). His last name
provides the first four notes G-A-D-E in the soprano of the main theme of this chordal
piece (Example 23).

Example 23. Northern Song, Op. 68, No. 41, mm. 1-4


Written in homophonic hymn-like style, the G-A-D-E motive appears each of the four-
measure phrases with harmonic and dynamic variations.
Although the Album for the Young is written for children, it clearly represents
Schumanns poetic and introspective style. Of course a very young pianist cannot be
expected to understand and produce the reflective tone, which is found in many of his
piano works in the 1830s. This is why more pieces of Schumanns own distinctive style
do not appear until the second part of the album, for the more grown-up. Among the
pieces typical of the composers poetic and introspective style are the two musical
pictures of winter, the Wintertime I and II, Nos. 38 and 39. The paired movements had a
strong appeal to Ludwig Richter, and seemed to inspire his famous engraving Hausmusik.

72
According to Richters son, Heinrich Richter,
[Ludwig] Richter considered the composition entitled Winterszeit the most
poetically pregnant of these tone poems; they clung to his imagination and resonated
long and quietly.
36


Schumann made a few explanatory comments on Wintertime II, which were reported by

Ludwig Richter as:

The forest and the ground are completely buried in snow all around; thick snow
covers the city streets. Dusk. With soft flakes, it begins to snow. Inside, in the cozy
room, the grownups sit next to the brightly lit fireplace and observe the merry round-
dances of the children and dolls.
37

Wintertime I is cast in binary form and made up of successive short repetitions of
the same motive written in four-voice chordal texture. The C minor tonality and the
sustained, descending melodic notes make it plaintive in character throughout.
Wintertime II is composed in a relatively large-scale form, a five-part rondo. The winter
sketches explained by Schumann are distinctly transmitted into the music. The outdoor
snow scene is featured by the recurring A section in C minor, which opens with a quiet
plain-octave theme in legato (Example 24).

Example 24. Wintertime II, Op. 68, No. 39, mm. 1-6



36
Appel, 187, quoting Ludwig Richter, Lebenserinnerungen eines deutschen Malers (Stuttgart: R.
Lutz, 1922), 399.

37
Ibid., 187-88.
73
The first episode is a vivacious dance of running 16
th
notes in G minor, representing the
playing children indoors (Example 25).


Example 25. Wintertime II, Op. 68, No. 39, mm. 25-32



The grownups by the fireplace are depicted in the second episode (Example 26). This C-
major section includes the jolly quotations of the Grossvatertanz (Grandfather Dance), a
seventeenth-century popular tune that had been used in J .S. Bachs Peasant Cantata
(BWV 212) and the finales in Schumanns Papillons, Op. 2, and Carnaval, Op. 9
(Examples 27a, 27b, and 27c).











74
Example 26. Wintertime II, Op. 68, No. 39, mm. 47-64



Example 27a. J .S. Bach: Peasant Cantata, BWV 212, No. 3, Recitative, mm. 4-9






75
Example 27b. Papillons, Op. 2, finale, mm. 1-12

Example 27c. Carnaval, Op. 9, finale, mm. 49-65

Each piece in the Album for the Young is notable for its peculiar vividness, for the
freshness of its imagery and the abundance of its ideas. Together they constitute a
delicate collection of miniatures of childhood, not only in musical sense but also in
psychological concern. Schumanns contribution of infusing beauty and imagination into
easy, but musically interesting pieces that children could accept was great indeed. He has
shown his extraordinary sensitivity and understanding of the simple thoughts of a childs
mind.



CHAPTER FOUR
THE WALDSZENEN AND THREE PIANO SONATAS
FOR THE YOUNG


The Waldszenen: A Musical Mrchen

Shortly after the completion of the Album for the Young in September 1848,
Schumann returned to solo piano in December with the Waldszenen, Op. 82, which is a
series of forest pictures. Like the Kinderszenen and the Album for the Young, the
Waldszenen contain no great technical difficulty and exhibit the similar childlike
simplicity, freshness, naivet, and imaginative appeal. They are accordingly used at times
as childrens pieces, although Schumann did not intend them so. The simple musical
language places the work in line with certain aspects of the Biedermeier sensibility,
1

thus the Waldszenen are conceived as music for a more intimate realm and not as concert
pieces.
The Waldszenen have been thought of as a typical example of German
Romanticism, for the cycle is suggestive of a walk through the forest, which was a
central topic of German Romanticism,
2
and attempts to represent the mood of the poetic


1
Daverio, 393.

2
Clemens Goldberg, Going into Woods: Space, Time, and Movement in Schumanns
Waldszenen op. 82, International Journal of Musicology 3 (1994): 155.
77
Mrchen (fairy-tale). The Mrchen were cultivated by great writers such as Goethe,
Tieck, Novalis, Clemens Brentano, and E.T.A. Hoffmann. Novalis, in his Fragmente,
values the Mrchen more than any other narrative forms in Romantic literature:
Fairy tales are just as the canon of the Poetical, everything that is poetical must be
like a fairy-tale, all fairy-tales are nothing but dreams of this native world which is
everywhere and nowhere.
3

With their dreamlike character and their linking of past and future, the Mrchen inspired
Schumann to compose several musical counterparts in his late years, as already discussed
in the second chapter. In the Waldszenen, the fairy-tale is narrated vividly through nine
delicate and attractive pieces. Schumann combined the indescribable charm, fascinating
atmosphere, and magically evocative moods in a poetic entirety, thus creating a
beautifully musical Mrchen.
The forest in the romantic experience suggested the inner unity of landscape and
people and the harmony of light and darkness. As one of the richest topics in German
Romantic literature and music, it provided a source of inspiration for many writers, poets,
and composers. The most famous examples for the use of the forest before Schumann
include the novella Waldeinsamkeit (Forest Loneliness) by Tieck, poems from the novel
Ahnung und Gegenwart (Premonition and Present) by J oseph von Eichendorff (1788-
1857), the novel Feldblumen (Wildflowers) by Adalbert Stifter (1805-1868), the opera
Der Freischtz by Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), and the song Jagdlied (Op. 84,
No. 3) by Felix Mendelssohn. The forest also inspired Schumann to write some of his
most romantic music. Before composing the Waldszenen, Schumann had set the forest in


3
Ibid., 153, quoting and translating Novalis, Werke in einem Band, ed. Uwe Lassen (Hamburg:
Hoffmann und Campe, 1959), 414-15.
78
four of his songs in the lieder year of 1840. Waldesgeprch (Forest discourse),
Zwielicht (Twilight), and Im Walde (In the forest) appear as Nos. 3, 10, and 11 in the
song cycle Liederkreis, Op. 39, after Eichendorff, and Sehnsucht nach der Waldgegend
(Longing for the forest lands) appears as No. 5 in Zwlf Gedichte (Twelve Poems), Op.
35, a love song cycle after the poetry of J ustinus Kerner. They are songs of nature, songs
of melancholy and happiness, songs of longing and hope, all of them coming together in
the romantic accord of the mysterious forest. In August 1848, Schumann finished the
opera Genovena, Op. 81, the last act of which takes place in a forest. Not long after that,
Schumann returned to the forest with the Waldszenen, Op. 82. Apparently, the inspiration
remained strongly on him.
Schumann composed the Waldszenen in a period of particularly happy creativity,
from the 24
th
of December 1848 to the 6
th
of J anuary 1849. He noted the following in his
household diary regarding the work:
24 December 1848Waldszenen. Very cheerful.
29 December 1848A Waldszene (Blumen) [Flowers]
31 December 1848Herberge [At the Inn] from Waldszenen. Pleased.
4


The nine pieces of the Waldszenen were written in rapid succession, yet it took
Schumann a long time to revise and polish them.
5
Changes continued to be made until
the work reached its final version at the end of September 1850. On October 8, the work
was forwarded to the newly founded Leipzig publisher Bartholf Senff for use as an
engravers copy. Schumann showed his high regard for this work in the accompanying


4
Eric Frederick J ensen, A New Manuscript of Robert Schumanns Waldszenen Op. 82,
The Journal of Musicology 3 (Winter 1984): 73, quoting and translating Wolfgang Boetticher, Robert
Schumann in seinen Schriften und Briefen (Berlin: Hahnefeld, 1942), 447.

5
For a study and account of Schumanns revisions, see J ensen, A New Manuscript, 74-81.
79
letter to Senff: A piece I much cherish. May it bring you reward and, if not an entire
forest, at least a small trunk for a new firm.
6
The Waldszenen was finally published in
November 1850, nearly two years after it was begun, with a dedication to Annette
Preusser, who was the daughter of Schumanns friend, Consul Preusser.
Each of the nine pieces in Waldszenen bears a descriptive title, from the opening
Eintritt (Entrance) to the final piece Abschied (Farewell), suggesting the images of a visit
to the forest with various impressions and experiences. Schumann originally prefaced six
pieces in the cycle with a poetic motto. Excerpts from Gustav Pfarriuss Waldlieder
provide the source for the mottos for Eintritt (No. 1) and Abschied (No. 9).
7
The verses
for Jger auf der Lauer (Hunter in ambush, No. 2) and Jagdlied (Hunting song, No. 8)
come from Heinrich Laubes Jagdbrevier.
8
The motto for Verrufene Stelle (Haunted spot,
No. 4) is linked to Friedrich Hebbels Neue Gedichte. The text for Vogel als Prophet
(Bird as prophet, No. 7) is chosen from Eichendorffs Zwielicht, which Schumann had set
as No. 10 of his Liederkreis, Op. 39. In addition, Schumann planned the title page to be
headed with the poem Komm mit! from Gustav Pfarriuss Waldlieder, to serve as the
motto for the entire work:
Komm mit, verlass das Marktgeschrei,
Verlass den Qualm, der sich dir ballt
Ums Herz, und athme wiederfrei,
Komm mit mir in den grunen Wald!




6
J ensen, A New Manuscript, quoting and translating Boetticher, Schriften und Briefen, 470.

7
Schumann selected three poems from this volume in 1851 for his songs Drei Gedichte von
Pfarrius, Op. 119, for voice and piano.

8
In May 1849, Schumann set the two poems intended for Jger auf der Lauer and Jagdlied, along
with three other poems from Laubes cycle, in his Fnf Gesnge aus H. Laubes Jagdbrevier, Op. 137, for
male chorus, four horns ad lib. accompaniment.
80
Come on, leave the cries of the market,
Leave the smoke suffocating
your heart and breathe freely again,
come with me into the green woods!
9

However, one should notice that Schumann selected these excerpts from the seven poems
only after the whole cycle was completed. In other words, he did not draw inspiration
from them. The poems are similar in mood to Schumanns music, and are assigned only
to serve as further guides to treatment and interpretation of the cycle and its individual
pieces. It would confirm Schumanns usual practice that titles and/or literary associations
were generally conceived after the composition. In the end, Schumann removed these
mottos before publication, with the exception of that for the fourth piece, Verrufene
Stelle, since he considered his music to speak for itself.
10

Schumann obviously intended to write theWaldszenen as a cycle, for the nine
pieces form a coherent description of the world of Romantic forest. Like many of his
piano cycles, the key relationship of theWaldszenen is such that the set can be performed
as a whole, thus constituting a suite. Schumann uses B-flat major as the key center for the
cycle, together with three closely related keys, G minor, D minor, and E-flat major.








9
Quoted and translated in Goldberg, 157.

10
Goldberg, 155.
81
Table 2. Waldszenen, key scheme and formal structure
Titles Keys Formal Structure
Eintritt Bb AABACA Coda
Jger auf der Lauer d ABBC Coda
Einsame Blumen Bb ABACA Coda
Verrufene Stelle d ABA Coda
Freundliche Landschaft Bb Intro. AABA
Herberge Eb ABAB Coda
Vogel als Prophet g ABA
Jagdlied Eb ABA
Abschied Bb Intro. ABAC Coda


The recurrence of keys plays a prominent role in the cyclic construction of the work.
Another important facet of coherence has to do with the relationships between the
component movements. The cyclic integration of the individual scenes by means of
motivic connections is present. The flower motives at the beginning of Einsame
Blumen (Lonely flowers), for example, recur in the following Verrufene Stelle, with the
indication markiert (Examples 28a and 28b).

Example 28a. Einsame Blumen, Op. 82, mm. 1-7




82
Example 28b. Verrufene Stelle, Op. 82, mm. 5-8


The sixteenth notes in mm. 39 of Herberge (At the inn) recall the introduction of the
preceding one Freundliche Landschaft (Pleasant landscape) (Examples 29a and 29b).

Example 29a. Herberge, Op. 82, mm. 37-40


Example 29b. Freundliche Landschaft, Op. 82, mm. 1-5





83
The main melody of the final piece Abschied echoes the opening phrase of No. 6,
Herberge (Examples 30a and 30b).

Example 30a. Abschied, Op. 82, mm. 1-3

Example 30b. Herberge, Op. 82, mm. 1-2

The two dominant scenes in the cycle, Verrufene Stelle and Vogel als Prophet, are linked
considerably. The melodic shape of the concluding phrase of Verrufene Stelle is reused
and transformed into the principal motive of Vogel als Prophet (Examples 31a and 31b).
The dotted rhythm of the latter is remembered from the former.

Example 31a. Verrufene Stelle, Op. 82, mm. 33-35


84
Example 31b. Vogel als Prophet, Op. 82, mm. 1


For Schumann, the Mrchen satisfied his need for self-expression and might offer
him a source of delight. Musically, theWaldszenen is presented in a manner close to the
simple and poetic Mrchen. The forest for Schumann and the Romantics is an enchanted
yet eerie world: light is mixed with darkness, the charming is mixed with the terrible, and
the nave is mixed with the sinister. In the Waldszenen, Schumanns characterization of
the woods combines the lovely and beautiful with the strange and ominous,
11
organized
by the alternations and contrasts in musical effect and tonality between the separated
pieces.
The cycle begins with Eintritt, a poetic prelude in B-flat major that suggests the
encounter with the forest and a leisurely walk through it. The original motto is:
Wir gehn auf thauumperlten Pfad,
Durch schlankes Gras, durch duftges Moos
Dem grnen Dickicht in den Schoos.

We walk upon a pearly dewdropped path,
through slender grass and fragrant moss,
into the lap of the green thicket.
12



11
Carolyn Maxwell and William DeVan, ed., Schumann Solo Piano Literature: A Comprehensive
Guide, Annotated and Evaluated with Thematics (Boulder, Colo.: Maxwell Music Evaluation, 1984), 260.

12
The poem and translations are taken from Robert Schumann, Waldszenen Opus 82, ed. Ernst
Herttrich (Munich: G. Henle Verlag, 2001), comments, 30.
85
The piece opens with a tuneful and lyrical theme, closely interwoven by both hands, thus
creating a pleasant and warm atmosphere of the forest (Example 32).

Example 32. Eintritt, Op. 82, mm. 1-4


The theme in the left hand suggests a horn call, which is described by Charles Rosen as
the traditional Romantic evocation of the forest, the distant echoing sound that stands for
memory.
13
But the next one, Jger auf der Lauer, is dramatic and exciting. Written in D
minor, the music has sharp contrasts between the static tension of the half notes and the
active impetus of the triplets (Example 33).

Example 33. Jger auf der Lauer, Op. 82, mm. 1-4




13
Charles Rosen, The Romantic Generation (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University
Press, 1995), 31.
86
The fierce chords, running triplets, repeated notes, driving rhythm, and wide-range
dynamics, all help for the agitated and dark effect. The forest has been permeated with
terror.
In the following piece, Einsame Blumen, B-flat major returns and gentle images
come back. In contrast to Jger auf der Lauer, the harmony and rhythm of Einsame
Blumen are simple, just as what Schumann indicates at the beginningEinfach. This
tender, simple, and quiet piece exudes a poetic mood and romantic magical aura that
Schumann translates with the imitative part-writing, clash of light dissonances (B and Bb
in mm. 12 and 38), and augmented chords (mm. 45, 47, 53, and 55), reminiscent of the
mysterious flowers. The theme of Einsame Blumen (Example 28a) is related to Schubert,
for it recalls Schuberts song, Frhlingsglaube (Faith of Spring), D. 686 (Op. 20 No. 2)
(Example 34).
14


Example 34. Schubert: Frhlingsglaube, D. 686, mm. 4-7






14
Maxwell, Schumann Solo Piano Literature, 263.
87
Moreover, Eric Frederick J ensen points out that it is related to the A major Waltz No. 13
from Schuberts 34 Valses sentimentales, D. 779 (Op. 50) (Example 35).
15


Example 35. Schubert: Waltz, from 34 Valses sentimentales, D. 779, No, 13, mm. 1-6


The ominous side of the forest reaches its climax in Verrufene Stelle, in which
Schumann placed it as a key point in the overall design. Schumann retained Hebbels
ghoulish poem in the published edition as a clue to the musics erries:
Die Blumen, so hoch sie wachsen, The flowers growing here so tall
Sind blass hier, wie der Tod; Are pale as death;
Nur eine in der Mitte Only one stands dark red,
Steht da im dunkeln Roth. There in the middle.

Die hat es nicht von der Sonne: But its color comes not from the sun,
Nie traf sie deren Gluth; Whose glow it has never met,
Sie hat es von der Erde, But rather from the earth,
Und die trank Menschenblut. From drinking human blood.
16

With its extraordinary vividness, this D minor piece stands out as one of Schumanns best
works. An atmosphere of sinister threatening and horror is created by means of double-
dotted rhythms, dissonant clusters of chords, suspended notes, and chromatic progression.
The beginning jerky motive introduces unease, and the marked staccato phrases in mm.
7-8 depict the intense nature of the piece (Example 36).


15
J ensen, A New Manuscript, 86.

16
Translations are taken from Daverio, 411.
88
Example 36. Verrufene Stelle, Op. 82, mm. 1-8



Strikingly, the piece is written in a fashion of Baroque music style, particularly that of
Bach, through the use of French-overture rhythm, contrapuntal writing, and short trills.
The imitative figure is fragmented, but extensively developed, proceeding in a
harmonically sequential manner. The last seven measures of the piece contain a passage
of tonic-pedal point. The Baroque style sets Verrufene Stelle apart from the rest of the
cycle, implying the faraway and strange region of the forest.
The bright color and dream-like air, however, return in the next piece Freundliche
Landschaft (B-flat major), which is followed by another pastoral and peaceful moment in
Herberge (E-flat major). Herberge is full of warmth and kindness. The folk-like melody
comes from the piano introduction of Waldesgeprch, Schumanns own setting of
Eichendorffs poem, which appears as the third song in his Liederkreis, Op. 39
(Examples 37a and 37b).

89
Example 37a. Herberge, Op. 82, mm. 1-4


Example 37b. Waldesgeprch, from Liederkreis, Op. 39, No. 3, mm. 1-4


Schumanns juxtaposition of the light with darkness continues: the above two
tuneful scenes are followed by the weird and delicate Vogel als Prophet in G minor, the
most inspired and famous piece in the Waldszenen. Schumann originally prefaced it with
a line from Eichendorffs poem Zwielicht, which he had already set in his Liederkreis,
Op. 39.
Hte dich! sei wach u[nd] munter!
Take care! Be alert and on thy guard!
17
According to J ensen, the marvelous birds were consistently used in the Mrchen.
18

Schumann uses the high register of the piano to imitate the bird calls, which feature


17
Schumann, Waldszenen Opus 82, comments, 31.

18
J ensen, A New Manuscript, 86-87.
90
dissonant downbeats, dotted rhythms, and fast broken-chord figures much of the time
(Example 38).

Example 38. Vogel als Prophet, Op. 82, mm. 1-5




The cross-relations, disjunctive intervals, sophisticated harmonies, accented
chromaticism, and fragmented phrases lend this piece a somber mood of the fear of an
uncertaintythe prophetic bird has brought a warning of approaching danger. Schumann
even emphasized the contrasting moods within this individual scene. As opposed to the A
section, the tranquil middle section is written in a homophonic chordal style in the tonic
major, appearing as a prayer for the relief. Vogel als Prophet, along with Verrufene
Stelle, has found its fame more independently than their companions. These two pieces,
therefore, dominate the cycle.
91
The two pieces about hunting were originally headed with lines from Laubes
Jagdbrevier. The motto selected for Jger auf der Lauer (No. 2) describes the hunters
expectations before the hunt, while the motto intended for Jagdlied (No. 8) expresses the
fulfillment of the expectations. The brightness and light come back in this lively hunting
song in E-flat major. The imitations of horn calls and the quick 6/8 meter with the
rousing and passionate spirit are typical of hunting scenes.
Finally, Schumann bids farewell to the forest journey with a tenderly lyrical and
romantic postlude, Abschied (B-flat major), originally prefaced:
Leise dringt der Schatten weiter,
Abendhauch schon weht durchs Thal,
Ferne Hhn nur grssen heiter
Noch den letzten Sonnenstrahl.

The shade is softly spreading,
a breath of evening wafts through the vale;
only distant peaks extend a cheerful greeting
to the last ray of sunlight.
19

The piece in fact has a tendency to song-like gentleness and is in the musical tradition of
the concluding movements of the composers Davidbndlertnze, Op. 6, Kinderszenen,
and Nachtstscke, Op. 23, a poetic thought suggesting a final summing up and calm
closing of the cycle. Abschied is written in a texture of expressive melody with pedal-
point accompaniment, with the repeated triplet chords inserted in the middle part. The
mood is reflective, as a thought lost in memories (Example 39).





19
Schumann, Waldszenen Opus 82, comments, 31.
92
Example 39. Abschied, Op. 82, mm. 1-6



The Waldszenen present a personal statement of Schumanns imaginative and
sensitive conception of the Romantic landscape. In the hands of Schumann, this
landscape resolves itself into theMrchen, of which they are the most subtle essences
and reflections of childrens nature. These forest scenes of dream-like poetry are filled
with a passionate nostalgia for a nonexistent present,
20
which echoes Schumanns
reminiscences and longing for lost childhood. For Schumann, the landscape, Mrchen,
and childhood were one in the Waldszenen, and they together became an idealized world
where Schumann was able to create an extended memory.






20
Rosen, 221.
93
Three Piano Sonatas for the Young: Musical Portraits
of Three Daughters


Schumann completed six sonatas for solo piano, which fall into two widely
separated groups, the three large sonatas (Op. 11, 14, and 22) written intermittently
between 1833-1838 and the three little sonatas (Op. 118) dated in 1853.
21
Besides them,
his early approach to the sonata is also evident in the works planned originally as sonatas
but later were given different titles: the Allegro, Op. 8 (1831), Fantasie, Op. 17 (1836),
and Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26 (1839).
22

During the 1810s and 1820s, early romantic composers such as Weber, Schubert,
and Mendelssohn composed numerous sonatas. From the 1830s, however, there was an
apparent decline in sonata production for piano. There were many interdependent reasons
for this decline. The most important perhaps is that, as Charles Rosen points out, the
compositional styles after 1830 were not especially suitable for dealing with sonata form,
which is largely irrelevant to the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century styles.
23

The genre was not capable of conveying the content of Romantic music, and composers
increasingly favored small-scale character pieces for piano. However, the truth that great
Romantic composers such as Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms all composed piano


21
Schumann wrote some early sketches of piano sonatas or sonata movements: two movements of
a Sonata in A-flat major (1830), movements of an unfinished Sonata in F minor (1833-1837, referred to as
Sonata No. 4), and sketches of another unfinished Sonata in B-flat major (1840). See William Newman,
The Sonata Since Beethoven, 3d ed. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1983), 262.

22
The Allegro has been conceived as the first movement of a planned Sonata in B minor.
Schumann originally called the Fantasie Grosse Sonate fr das Pianoforte, and he described the
Faschingsschwank aus Wien as a great romantic sonata. See Newman, 263; Kathleen Dale, The Piano
Music, in Schumann: A Symposium, ed. Gerald Abraham (London: Oxford University Press, 1952), 42-43,
45.

23
Charles Rosen, Sonata Forms, revised ed. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1988), 365.
94
sonatas in their early careers proved that there was still continuing high regard for the
genre.
The three large piano sonatas (Op. 11, 14, and 22) are Schumanns early works,
written in the traditional conception of the genre as Beethoven and Schubert had done.
They are all in four movements and the basic schemes are similar: the big opening
movements in sonata form, the slow movements in ternary form or variations, the
scherzos with trio, and the large finales in sonata or rondo form. The three sonatas of Op.
118 are sonatas in miniature, again, each consisting of four movements, the last two of
which carry descriptive titles. In this aspect they combine features of both the sonata and
the suite. Although they can be played individually, Schumann intended them as a set of
works because the last movement of the Third Sonata recalls the principal theme of the
First Sonata.
The list of Schumanns compositions in early 1853 includes the ballad Das Glck
von Edenhall (Op. 143), Fest-Ouveture on the Rheinweinlied (Op, 123), piano
arrangement of the Overture, Scherzo, and Finale, and the piano accompaniments for J .S.
Bachs unaccompanied violin sonatas and cello suites. From May 28 to J une 9, he
worked on the Seven Piano Pieces in Fughetta Form (Op. 126). In the following two
weeks he composed the Three Piano Sonatas for the Young:
J une 11 to 24, Scenes of Childhood for the piano, in G major; two easy sonatas
for the young, for the piano (in D major and C major), Op. 118.
24

Schumann at first separated the First Sonata from the other two, naming it Kinderszenen.
The works were once called Childrens Sonatas by Clara, who remarked upon them as


24
Wasielewski, 181.
95
Kindersonaten, for such child-performers as never were.
25
The set was eventually
entitled Piano Sonatas for the Young and published in 1853.
The three sonatas of Op. 118 are dedicated to Schumanns three oldest daughters:
No. 1 for J ulie, No. 2 for Elise, and No. 3 for Marie ages eight, ten, and twelve
respectively at that time. The relations of technical difficulties are arranged
correspondingly, although they are generally at a high level. Within the works, there are
sonata form, theme and variations, binary form, ternary form, and rondo form. All of the
forms are not written in a complicated pattern, but are resolved in a simpler and more
youthful way, being more accessible and elaborate. The different manner in which the
dedications of these three works were made personalizes each of their legacies. In this
regard, Schumanns own words in A Little Book of Memories for Our Children and
Eugenie Schumanns recollections provide more direct and accurate representations
about the characterization of the three girls, their characters and their aptitudes.
The First Sonata was composed in remembrance of J ulie. Since J ulie was too
young at the time, Schumann did not record her characterization similar to that of Marie
and Elise in A Little Book of Memories for Our Children. But there are still some clues:
J ulchen [J ulie] is not unlike Marie in looks, but she is much quieter and more
obstinate, and mentally backward by about a year compared with Marie at the age of
two. J ulchen is like a graceful little doll; I have never known so charming and
well-mannered a child.
26


When J ulie was about four years old, Schumann wrote:





25
Litzmann, Clara Schumann, vol. 2, 37.

26
E. Schumann, 211, 215.

96
J ulchen does not grow; she remains small and thin. But her mind is not as backward
as her tiny physique would lead one to believe. She is obstinate, however, and takes
no interest in her elder sisters games. J ulchen often shows signs of a keen
intelligence, side by side with greediness. She often says the most amusing things.
27

Eugenie Schumann, J ulies younger sister, remembered her as:

Irresistible charm a face of such unusual charm that no one could look upon it
without joy. Yet this would not convey the nobility the sweetness of disposition,
the vivacity of her emotions and her mind.
28

In 1853, J ulie was only eight years old and probably did not have the distinctive
characters as those of her older sisters, and for that reason Sonata No. 1 in G major
remains a childlike and nave piece, short and simple both in structure and style. There is
a charming simplicity and a spirit of naivet in the opening movement in ternary form. In
the A section the tuneful and expressive melody moves against a steady accompaniment,
which has parallel melodic lines and occasional contrary motion. The middle section is a
reflection of J ulies obstinacy, featuring primarily chordal writing and forming a lovely
contrast in the movement. The second movement is a concise theme and variations in E
minor. The theme itself is only six measures in length, and is written in homophonic style
with many rests. The following four variations each begin with rhythmic and textural
changes, going from eighth notes to triplets, to quarter notes in the parallel major, and
concluding with sixteenth notes back in the tonic minor.
The third movement (C major), entitled Dolls Cradle Song, is a charming lullaby
in ternary form, similar in style to the first movement with a single-note melody with a
moving accompaniment in eighth notes in the left hand (Example 40a). Brahms echoed
the principal theme of Dolls Cradle Song in the third movement Andantino of his


27
Ibid., 215, 217.

28
Ibid., 61.
97
Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115 (Examples 40b).
29


Example 40a. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-4



Example 40b. Brahms: Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-4


Maybe he was thinking of J ulie, about whom Brahms once wrote it is difficult to think
of her without emotion.
30
The final movement is titled Rondoletto. With the lively 3/8
meter, it is the most pleasing of the four movements. The main section is spirited and
vivacious. The second episode in D major beginning from mm. 93 (Example 44b)


29
Schauffler, 360.

30
E. Schumann, 62.
98
produces exceptional beauty and charm, reminding one of Eugenies description of
J ulies unusual charm. The long coda section employs canonic imitations between the
hands, which lead to an amusing end.
Romantic composers often used cyclic principles in their works for the sake of
unity. In the First Sonata of Op. 118 Schumann employs a descending motive as a
unifying device for the whole work. The motive in the first movement is the basic shape
from which the following movements are formed (Example 41).

Example 41. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 1
st
movement, mm. 1-4



It appears extensively in the Theme of the second movement (Example 42).

Example 42. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 2
nd
movement, mm. 1-3




99
The themes in the third and fourth movement feature extension of the main motive, with
an added note (Examples 43a, 43b, 44a, and 44b).

Example 43a. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-4

Example 43b. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 3
rd
movement, mm. 31-34

Example 44a. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 1-4

Example 44b. Sonata No. 1, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 93-105


100
The Second Sonata in D major was written in memory of Elise. Schumann wrote
the following words about her:
Stubborn, very naughty, often had to fell the birch, greedy. Has very high spirits,
more sense of humor than Marie; thoughtful too, as though reflecting upon things.
When thwarted, struggles with hands and feet.

Lieschen [Elise] reminds me of my late mother, your grandmother. Her humour and
occasional sallies continue, also her spells of thoughtfulness and unreasonable fits of
temper. But she often amuses us with her funny ideas, her resourceful wit and original
appearance.
31

The stubbornness showed her determined spirit and desire for independence. According
to Eugenie Schumann, Elise began to build up her life at a very early age. She went to
Frankfurt to settle down as a music teacher in 1865 at the age of 22. Eugenie wrote to
her:
You were the most original of the whole crowd. Your self-confidence, the lordly
way in which you used to deal with matters great and small, gave us no end of
amusement. Whatever you were doing, you did it with all the passion underlying
your nature. Not a word could we get out of you for hours when you were bent upon
some occupation.
32


Compared to Sonata No. 1, Sonata No. 2 is more difficult and complicated in
rhythm, harmony, and texture. Both the outer movements are in sonata form, and the two
intervening movements are in binary and ternary form respectively. The first movement
Allegro begins with an active and spreading melody, which emerges from the rather
inactive supporting chords in the left hand (Example 45). The movement is repetitious
with this sixteenth-note motive throughout.




31
Ibid., 207, 211.

32
Ibid., 59-60.
101
Example 45. Sonata No. 2, Op. 118, 1
st
movement, mm. 1-3


There is an energetic passage (mm. 35-42) at the end of the second theme, featuring
bouncing staccato chords, which is a fitting depiction of Elises naughty character. An
exceptionally beautiful melody (mm. 43-45) follows immediately, leading to the quiet
close of the exposition. Moving in two-measure phrases, the sixteenth-note motive in the
development is carried over, intensified, and leads to the climax at mm. 76. Harmonic
motion (exploring related keys of E minor and A minor), imitative lines, and non-
harmonic tones all play important roles in effecting the intensity and drama. The tightly
constructed first movement represents the regular sonata form, and the whole suggests
that the second daughter was more proficient than her younger sister.
The second movement Canon is again a result of Schumanns intense
contrapuntal studies of J .S. Bach in 1845. This strict two-part canon at an octave
basically consists of repeats and their transpositions. It is not written as a serious study in
counterpoint. Here, the Canon appears rather as a lively character piece. If the Canon
represents the high-spirited and humorous side of Elise, then the third movement,
Evening Song, illustrates her thoughtfulness. It is an expressive and sentimental piece in
G major, displaying Mendelssohn keyboard writing stylea piece of continuously
flowing melody against triplet accompaniment in broken chords (Example 46).
102
Example 46. Sonata No. 2, Op. 118, 3
rd
movement, mm. 1-5


The bright joviality of the fourth movement, Childrens Party, is in direct contrast
to the Evening Song, and is the most technically demanding of this sonata. The bouncing
principal theme is characterized by upward intervallic leaps, which move in sixteenth
notes in the upper register. The left hand accompaniment features dance-like chords and
is often imitative (Example 47).

Example 47. Sonata No. 2, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 1-4


The secondary theme, beginning at mm. 20, is presented in the left hand in closely spaced
staccato triads and their inversions. Its indication, very marked, and excitement exhibit
Elises dominating personality. The development is similar in style and texture to the
exposition. Much of the same melodic materials appear, interspersed with a brief new
idea, which is derived from the accompanying figure in mm. 5-6. The development
provides harmonic interest through the use of chromaticism, and the driving rhythm and
103
running sixteenth notes throughout help to create tension. Childrens Party is a continual
unfolding of dynamics; the energetic bombastic-chord ending in ff marks the climax of
the Sonata.
The Third Sonata, dedicated to Marie, is written with a more mature approach,
both technically and musically. Schumann noted the characters of the five-year old Marie
as:
Cheerful, vivacious temperament, not very obstinate, responsive to kindness;
pliant, warm-hearted, affectionate. Excellent memory for the smallest events of her
little life. Very sensitive to teasing.
Seems fond of music seems altogether inclined to be domestic and practical.
Talks a great deal, often incessantly. Healthy and often high-spirited.
33
In A Little Book of Memories for Our Children, there are many references to Marie and
one can perceive that the first-born daughter received the greatest amount of attention
from her father. Eugenie wrote the following description to her older sister Marie:
This gay as a lark developed early into sympathetic, even-tempered cheerfulness.
You were always cheerful, always contented. You were a tease. In spite of your
equanimity you had a distinct tendency to furor teutonicus, which would break like
a thunderstorm and as suddenly pass. You were also the thoughtful one in the family.
You had been our fathers favourite, and this was a great tie between you.
You were never really happy unless you took care of our mother and us from
morning till night, and of many others as well. Your thoughts were exclusively
occupied with our wellbeing; no other life appealed to you.
34

Although Eugenies retrospective characterization was not for the twelve-year-old Marie
(the age of which her sonata was written), it no doubt offered an apt description.
Schumann created a musical portrait for Marie in the Third Sonata, attempting to express
himself through her mind.


33
Ibid., 207, 212.

34
Ibid., 57-58.

104
The movements of the Third Sonata portray strongly contrasted moods, to which
one could easily recognize the described characters of Marie. The work (C major) opens
with another regular allegro-sonata movement. In this March tempo movement, the
healthy and high-spirited Marie is heard distinctly in the principal theme, whose strong
dotted rhythm and sforzandos give the impetus to this brisk march (Example 48).

Example 48. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 1
st
movement, mm. 1-6



Her kindness and warm-heartedness are expressed in the secondary theme beginning at
mm. 16, with interplay between the soprano and tenor. The development is built on the
melodic lines of the principal theme, intensified through the frequent harmonic shifts but
without complications. The three-note motive in dotted rhythm is found throughout the
entire first movement in various forms and places. The musical effect is wide-ranging
uniformity.
105
The following F-major Andante is written in the manner of Schumanns most
reflective piano pieces. The one-measure motive in dotted rhythm dominates the chordal
texture of the A section. The sustained D-minor melody in the B section is interjected by
a running flow of sixteenth notes. The phrases offer chromatic harmonies and imitative
writing in a relatively intricate texture. The heading expressive, meaningful dynamics,
and thoughtful phrasing make the second movement just as introspective in quality as the
poetic miniatures of Schumanns early years (Example 49).

Example 49. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 2
nd
movement, mm. 1-3



Maries cheerfulness and furor teutonicus are reflected in the third movement, Gypsy
Dance (A minor), which develops through repetitions of a brief motive of running
sixteenth triplets, with a slightly exotic atmosphere. In the middle section, the stormy
outbreak of full sonorous scales interjects twice, each time answered by the main motive.
The last movement is entitled A Childs Dream. There are many musical,
dynamic, and tempo nuances incorporated into this piece, such as the energetic staccato-
note sections (mm. 59-62 and 91-99) and the passage of horn-call effects (mm. 74-80).
The exposition of this movement contains an intriguing thought: the swaying and amiable
first theme in 6/8 meter is interrupted twice, but not disturbed, by the reminiscence of the
106
principal theme in 2/4 meter from the First Sonata dedicated to J ulie (Examples 50a and
50b).

Example 50a. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 32-38



Example 50b. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 4
th
movement, mm. 43-50



The quotation perhaps has a double meaning. First, Schumann might use it to typify the
great affection and affinity between the children. J ulie was the first child in the family
whose growth Marie could sensibly witness. The affectionate trait developed Marie
into a maternal instinct. After Schumanns tragic death, Marie (at the time only fifteen
years old) emerged to become a second mother
35
to her younger siblings for years.
Second, Schumann possibly made an effort to express himself through Maries mind. The


35
Ibid., 57.
107
quotation of Maries sonata is symbolic of Schumanns recollection of childhood. For
Schumann, childhood is a dream, which is an invisible link to connect his past and
present. It was only through dreams that his world of childhood could be easily
recovered.



CHAPTER FIVE
THE THREE PIANO DUETS FOR CHILDREN

The Piano Duet and Schumann

The history of the piano duet, a composition for two players either at one
instrument or two, began in the mid-eighteenth century. However, the genre blossomed
and was enormously popular during the nineteenth century. Composers continued to
produce many original four-hand compositions at that time, and the piano duet became a
major vehicle for domestic music making.
Social changes and the development of the piano in the nineteenth century both
gave rise to the prolific production of piano duets. The new and less cultured middle
classes became more interested in cultivating art music. A tremendous amount of
Hausmusik came to be written due to their great demand for more music. Because it was
suited for domestic music making and provided opportunities for social gatherings, piano
duets were widely accepted by adult music amateurs and young people. From a musical
justification, the nineteenth-century piano featured many improvements, including a
wider keyboard, felt-covered hammers, longer strings, added pedals, and strengthened
construction, all of which made it more comfortable for two players to sit side by side (at
one piano), and enabled new possibilities of sound production. In addition, there was
109
another important use of the piano duet: in a time with no recordings and radio
broadcasts, piano duet arrangements were often the best way of becoming acquainted
with symphonies, operas, chamber music, and choral works. Publishers issued many such
pieces in this form.
As opposed to the greater virtuosity of the two-piano duet, the duet at one piano
tends toward a chamber music style
1
and virtuosity is not a chief element of the genre.
The works are usually gay and lighthearted, although sometimes composers took
advantage of a full and rich sonority from four hands. There was a large repertory written
for the genre, with a wide scope represented on the one side national or pseudo-national
dances (i.e. Schuberts Marches and Polonaises, Brahmss Waltzes and Hungarian
Dances, Dvoraks Slavonic Dances) and on the other side the highly substantial works
(i.e. Schuberts Grande Duo in C and Fantasia in F minor, Mendelssohns Allegro
brillante, Brahmss Variations on a Theme by Schumann).
Compared with his entire musical output, Schumanns contributions to the piano
duet repertory (one piano, four hands) are minor, including five collections of pieces:
2

Eight Polonaises, WoO 20 (1828), Pictures from the East, Op. 66 (1848), the Twelve
Four-Hand Piano Pieces for Small and Big Children, Op. 85 (1849), the Ball Scenes, Op.
109 (1851), and the Childrens Ball, Op. 130 (1853), all of which belong to his playful
Hausmusik. These collections are generally viewed as relatively unimportant, either
among his own works or in duet repertory as a whole. However, each set is full of the


1
Ernest Lubin, The Piano Duet: A Guide for Pianists (New York: Grossman Publishers,
1970), 2.

2
Schumann also composed a set of variations on a theme of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia for
piano four hands in 1828, but only fragment survives.
110
warmth, charm, poetry, and simplicity, found in Schumanns other compositions.
In his piano duets, Schumann has been very specific in dynamic indications,
which encompass a wide range of effects. He often constructs the melodic lines in four-
or eight-measure units, which are immediately repeated. This practice gives balance and
continuity, but the frequent recurrences sometime become tiresome, especially when the
musical material is simple. As regards the disposition of the musical and technical
importance between the two parts, it may be said that in more complicated collections,
such as the Pictures from the East and Ball Scenes, the parts are treated as equal partners
and each is given an equal share of textural and harmonic interest. In the simpler
collections of the Twelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces for Small and Big Children and
Childrens Ball, the secondo is most frequently an accompaniment while the primo
carries the melodically and thematically important passages. Nevertheless, surrounding
the melodic ideas are Schumanns accompaniment patterns, which provide great variety
of treatmenthomophonic, contrapuntal, chordal, and arpeggiated textures, with
syncopation and cross rhythms.
Of the five collections of piano duets, the Twelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces for
Small and Big Children, Ball Scenes, and Childrens Ball are composed deliberately for
children, more accurately, for Marie and Elise. There are at least three purposes for which
Schumann wrote for the genre for his children. First, it is obvious that Schumann
composed piano duets for instructional purposes in order to teach his two daughters.
Through duet playing the children could learn how to play music with othersthey could
get a feeling for melodic line and steady rhythm, as well as the sensitivity of the shifts of
role, to know what should project and what should be subordinated. Second, these sets of
111
duets were evidently written with pleasure in order to give pleasure. Duet playing is
usually so much fun, socially as well as musically, and children would find greater
musical enjoyment in duet than in solo playing. Third, they were composed for
commercial reasons, for profit through publications. Since the genre readily met with
wide acceptance and became profitable for composers and publishers alike, Schumann
would naturally compose piano duets to meet popular demand.

The Twelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces for
Small and Big Children, Op. 85


Encouraged by the immediate popularity and great success of the Album for the
Young, Op. 68, which was published in December 1848, Schumann returned to piano
music for children in September 1849 with a set of pieces for piano duet, entitled Twelve
Four-Hand Piano Pieces for Small and Big Children. The work was recorded in his list
of compositions in 1849 as follows:
10
th
to 15
th
September, childish pices quatre mains for the piano, in two parts
(six numbers). From Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, two more parts of the childish pices
quatre mains for the piano, six numbers (Op. 85).
3

The twelve pieces all bear descriptive titles, written in a similar character to the
Album for the Young, Op. 68. The first piece of the set, Geburtstagsmarsch (Birthday
march), was composed as a present for Claras thirtieth birthday on 13 September and
intended to be performed by Marie and Elise for their mother. Schumann asked Emilie


3
Wasielewski, 165.
112
Steffens, a friend of the Schumanns, to work on the March with Marie and Elise.
4
But the
piece was actually played by Schumann and Marie on the occasion.
On Sept. 13
th
he surprised Clara by a Geburtstagsmarsch (Birthday March) which he
and little Marie played to her together. And besides this, two other pieces for four
hands lay on her birthday table, Brentanz (The Bears Dance) and Gartenlied
(Garden Song). Her hope that a series of others would follow, so that there might be
another album, was speedily fulfilled.
5

In her diary on September 20, Clara mentioned three recently composed pieces for piano
duet of Op. 85:
Three more pieces for four hands have followed: Am Springbrunnen (At the
Fountain), Reigen and Turniermarsch (March to the Tournament). The first is most
charmingly originaldream-like; one feels oneself carried inside the fountain, and
sees all sorts of curious things in it, such as the ball which turns about so funnily and
at last comes back to its first position, in short one dreams with the music without
knowing it until the end of the piece, when in high delight one turns smiling to ones
neighbour. This is what happens to us when we (Robert and I) play it together.
6

Frederick Nieckss biography of Schumann leaves an account of a performance of pieces
from Op. 85 at the composers home:
Christmas evening, 1849, when Robert and Clara played duets, some of the newly-
published Op. 85, Twelve Pianoforte Pieces for Four Hands for Children, Little and
Big. Robert played the Bears Dance with exquisite humour, smiling roguishly while
imitating with his hands the clumsy movements of the bear.
7

The Twelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces for Small and Big Children were in fact
published in August 1850 by Schuberth publishing house. The publisher extolled the set
as a continuation to the Album for the Young, Op. 68, thus a Second Album.
8
Like the


4
Niecks, 249.

5
Litzmann, Clara Schumann, vol. 1, 458.

6
Ibid.

7
Niecks, 252.

8
Ostwald, Schumann, 226.
113
Album for the Young, the twelve piano duets are graceful, fresh, and melodious character
pieces, making few technical demands. Similarly, Schumann uses only easy keys in these
pieces, as he did in Op. 68, with the exception of the last one, Abendlied (Evening song),
which is written in D-flat major. Moreover, the second piece Brentanz (The bears
dance) arises in connection with an early version of the Album for the Young.
Schumanns Birthday Album for Marie,
9
which eventually developed into the Album for
the Young, contains a Brentanz as No. 6. Though omitted in the printed edition of Op.
68,
10
the piece recurred to Schumanns mind when he worked on Op. 85 and several parts
of it were used in the resultant Brentanz as piece No. 2 of the Twelve Four-Hand Piano
Pieces for Small and Big Children. Both pieces display the same structural and stylistic
features: they are all in A minor, 2/4 meter, and at opposite extremes of the keyboard,
with an agile melody on the top and drone acciaccatura open fifths at the bottom
(Examples 51a and 51b).

Example 51a. Brentanz, mm. 1-4





9
An album of fourteen pieces given to Maries seventh birthday on 1 September 1848. See
Chapter Three.

10
The piece appeared in print in an edition containing seventeen additional unpublished pieces
from the Album for the Young. Robert Schumann, Pezzi inediti dall Album per la Giovent, op. 68, ed.
J rg Demus (Milan: G. Ricordi, 1973), 18.
114
Example 51b. Brentanz, Op. 85, No. 2, mm. 1-4

The twelve pieces of Op. 85 are not a cycle, but a set of independent pieces,
which individually are not bound together tonally or thematically. Throughout Schumann
employs simple three- and five-part schemes, often organized in rounded binary form.

Table 3. The Twelve Four-Hand Piano Pieces for Small and Big Children, key and
formal schemes

Titles Keys Formal Scheme
Geburtstagmarsch C ABA
Brentanz a ABA Coda
Gartenmelodie A ABB
Beim Krnzewinden F AB Coda
Kroatenmarsch a ABACA Coda
Trauer F ABABA Coda
Turniermarsch C Intro. ABA
Reigen G ABA Coda
Am Springbrunnen D ABA Coda
Versteckens F ABC Coda
Gespenstermrchen d ABA Coda
Abendlied Db ABC


Possibly still in the enthusiasm for his Four Marches, Op. 76, completed in J une
of the same year for piano solo, Schumann wrote three marches in Op. 85. Full of vigor
and vitality, they are rich in rhythmic impulse and original melodic ideas. The first one,
Birthday March, is short and simple with a stately stepping bass and a quiet, melodious
115
middle section. A notable feature of this piece is the occurrence of a nine-measure phrase
(mm. 9-17), which is a comparative rarity in Schumanns piano duets. The other two
marches are more complex and contain greater vigor. The Croatian March (No. 5) is a
military march with fanfares and drum rolls. It has a bold and vigorous melody in A
minor, characterized by the dotted rhythm and triplets. The lighter B section in F major
forms a brisk contrast, while the C section is closely related to the main theme due to its
martial character and the same key area. The Tournament March (No. 7) is the longest of
the three marches. It follows the form of the first (ABA), but each section has been
greatly expanded. This piece is characterized by the gaiety of its march and the romantic
air of its middle section. The introduction opens with trumpet calls in C major and the A
section is in Schumanns most vigorous and spirited style, full of dotted rhythm,
sforzando surprises, and thick texture (Example 52).

Example 52. Turniermarsch, Op. 85, No. 2, mm. 1-6

116
The B section is in the subdominant and passes through B-flat major, G minor, and back
to F major, much of its charm being due to its poised rhythm of triplets.
A glance at the titles of individual pieces reveals the spirit of the Twelve Four-
Hand Piano Pieces, Op. 85. Besides dancing, playing hide-and-seek, telling jokes and
ghost stories, there are also reflective pieces (Nos. 3, 4, 6, and 12), which are rather
wistful in mood. Two pieces in the set highlight the different characters respectively. By
the Fountain (No. 9) is a particularly well-received piece for its delight and utmost
lightness. The writing of it is technically demanding (indicated to be played as fast as
possible), quite beyond the capacity of a child. The primo and secondo parts are of
nearly equal importance; the secondo has become a participant in the melodic fabric. The
harmonic language is more complex (i.e. use of B-flat major for the contrasting middle
section as in a piece of D major), and there is generous use of chromaticism, notably in
the modulatory sections (mm. 19-24). The layout for both parts is extremely active, with
constantly moving sixteenth notes alternating between two hands (Example 53).

Example 53. Am Springbrunnen, Op. 85, No. 9, mm. 1-8




117


The evocative sonority effectively conveys the lulling sound of cascading waters.
11
The final poetic Evening Song (No. 12) was one of the most famous of
Schumanns compositions in the nineteenth century. The piece, a slow and introspective
statement, is scored for three hands, with the primo playing a single tender melody
throughout and the secondo providing the entire harmonic foundation in pianissimo
(Example 54).

Example 54. Abendlied, Op. 85, No. 12, mm. 1-9





11
Kathleen Dale, Nineteenth-Century Piano Music: A Handbook for Pianists (London: Oxford
University Press, 1954; reprint, New York: Da Capo Press, 1972), 292.
118


The pianistic style of this piece accords perfectly with the simplicity of its expressive
character. Many composers and musicians, such as J oseph J oachim, Camille Saint-Sans,
and Sir Thomas Beecham, have made arrangements of the piece. Robert Haven
Schaufflers book on Schumann records that J oseph J oachim performed an orchestral
version of the Abendlied as an intermezzo at the premier of Brahmss A German Requiem
(April 10, 1868) in the cathedral at Bremen in honor of Clara, who was present.
12
The
fact suggests that the piece was widely known at the time.

The Ball Scenes, Op. 109, and the Childrens Ball, Op. 130

Schumanns last two sets of piano duets, Ball Scenes: Nine Character Pieces and
Childrens Ball: Six Easy Dance Pieces, were written in 1851 and 1853 respectively. The
two duets are similar in conception and character, both being collections of dances.
Moreover, the two works are linked to each other in an unusual way. Wasielewski
recalled the following in his book:


12
Schauffler, 368; Lubin, 92. Clara Schumanns diary describes the first performance of the
Requiem and notes that the event was on 10 April 1868, but she did not mention the performance of the
Abendlied. See Litzmann, Clara Schumann, vol. 2, 258.
119
He [Schumann] originally intended to call the cycle of tone-pieces contained in Op.
109 The Childrens Ball. The composition may afterwards have seemed to him
too grave for a Childrens Ball, and he chose the title of Scenes at a Ball. His
creative spirit is here displayed in its most agreeable light. But he did not abandon the
idea of a Childrens Ball, and carried it out [in Op. 130] in 1853.
13


The entry of Schumanns list of compositions refers to the Ball Scenes: J une,
1851, five more four-hand pieces for the Childrens Ball (Op. 109).
14
The word
more implies that the four other pieces in Op. 109 had already been composed by then.
Clara, in her diary, noted a private performance of the Ball Scenes at Schumanns home.
Liszt and his mistress, Princess Carolyne Wittgenstein, came to Dsseldorf and, along
with other guests, visited Schumanns house on 1 September 1851. In that afternoon there
was home music-making, including a performance of the Ball Scenes, which at that time
was still under the title Kinderball.
We had a great deal of music, and played Roberts second symphony (the 4 of us),
Springbrunnen and Kroatenmarsch from the Album [Op. 85], then the whole of the
Kinderball [Op. 109]
15

The decision to reword the title of Op. 109 to Ball Scenes was taken in August 1853.
The work was published in October 1853 by publisher Schuberth in Hamburg, with a
dedication to Henriette Reichmann, who was a long-standing friend of Clara Schumann.
The Childrens Ball, Op. 130, was Schumanns last piano composition for
children. It was composed for the most part in September 1853, as noted in his list of
compositions:




13
Wasielewski, 175-76.

14
Ibid., 174.

15
Litzmann, Clara Schumann, vol. 2, 26-27. It is not clear from this quotation of her diary
whether Clara played the duets with Schumann or with Liszt.
120
Sept. 18 to 20, Childrens Ball; six four-hand piano compositions (the minuet dates
from 1850), Op. 130.
16

Clara mentioned the work twice in her diary. On 24 September 1853 she wrote: Robert
has finished a charming Kinderball for four hands.
17
On 7 October she recorded: This
evening I played Brahms Roberts BACH fugue [Op. 60], and then played the new
Kinderball with Robert.
18
The set was published by Breitkopf & Hrtel in Leipzig in
March 1854, by which time Schumann had already been in the asylum in Endenich.
Both the Ball Scenes and the Childrens Ball are character pieces comprising
various dance forms of several nationalities, Polish, German/Austrian, Hungarian,
French, and Scottish. An opening Prambule and concluding Promenade frame the seven
intervening dances of the Ball Scenes, which include a Polonaise, a Hungarian Dance, a
French Dance, a Mazurka, an Ecossaise, and two Waltzes. In the Childrens Ball, four
dance types (Polonaise, Waltz, French Dance, and Ecossaise) that appeared in the
previous set are retained. Schumann omits the Prambule and Promenade as well as the
Hungarian Dance and Mazurka, substituting with a Minuet and a Round Dance.
Dance rhythms constitute the basis of many of Schumanns important piano
works, such as the waltz and the polonaise that prevail in Papillons and Carnaval.
Compared to the majority of his solo works, the dances in Op. 109 and 130 are much
lighter in character. Although some dances are brilliant in nature, they are typical of the
charm of Hausmusik and never exceed the limits of Schumanns delicate chamber music
style. These dances show the influence of Schubert, whom Schumann greatly admired,


16
Wasielewski, 181.

17
Litzmann, Clara Schumann, vol. 2, 44.

18
Ibid.
121
and are tuneful, often humorous pieces, ideally suited for musical recreation. Their
harmonic languages are primarily diatonic and equable, though without lacking in
fluctuations. All the dances, with two exceptions, are in ternary form, each including a
contrasting middle section usually with new thematic material in an opposite mood or
melodious style.
In the dances of the Ball Scenes and Childrens Ball, Schumann retains his highly
individual expression and catches the subtle flavor of various dance styles. The three
waltzes (Op. 109, No. 3, No. 8, and Op. 130, No. 2) are beautifully finished miniatures,
light and airy in mood, clearly in the atmosphere of domestic music-making. All written
in G major, they are rather slow in tempo and they avoid brilliant embellishment or
bravura figuration. The delicacy of their melodic ideas, the beauty of their harmonic
progression, the flexibility of their rubato, and the intimate tenderness of their emotion
reflect the graceful, sophisticated, and elegant style of the waltz (Examples 55a, 55b, and
55c).

Example 55a. Walzer, Op. 109, No. 3, mm. 1-6



122
Example 55b. Walzer, Op. 109, No. 8, mm. 1-12



Example 55c. Walzer, Op. 130, No. 2, mm. 1-7



Two of the waltzes, Op. 109, No. 3 and Op. 130, No. 2, are simple in their formal
outlines, but the Waltz of Op. 109, No. 8 is an unusual amalgam of ternary and rondo
123
forms. The piece proceeds in a series of clear-cut short sections, some of which recur
periodically.

Table 4. Walzer, from the Ball Scenes, Op. 109, No. 8, formal outline
Introduction mm. 1-4 G major
Section A mm. 5-20 G major
Section B mm. 21-36 E minor
Section A mm. 37-52 G major
Section C mm. 53-72 C major
Section B mm. 73-88 A minor
Section D mm. 89-132 E minor
Section C mm. 133-148 G major
Section A mm. 149-168 G major
Coda mm. 169-194 G major



The two polonaises in both sets (Op. 109, No. 2 and Op. 130, No. 1) are fresh and
delightful pieces, containing some of Schumanns most engaging music. They are
charming dances, full of varied melodies and poetic fancies, and almost Chopinesque.
Typical of the authentic polonaise, they are in moderate triple meter with vigorous
rhythm appropriate to the dance. Both polonaises are in ternary form. Following
Schuberts examples, the A sections are relatively brilliant and majestic, while the trios
are particularly felicitous in their grace and delicacy. Both trio sections make use of
imitations, which occur between the primo and secondo in Op. 109, No. 2, and between
the two hands of one player in Op. 130, No. 1. It is also noticeable that the main theme of
the Polonaise in the Childrens Ball is recycled from the principal theme of Maries
sonata in the Three Piano Sonatas for the Young (Op. 118, No. 3; Example 56a).
Accompanied by the distinctive rhythmic pattern of the polonaise, the theme makes a
more vigorous, brisk, and dignified impression (Example 56b).
124
Example 56a. Sonata No. 3, Op. 118, 1
st
movement, mm. 4-6


Example 56b. Polonaise, Op. 130, No. 1, mm. 1-8


The musical styles of other dances are also vivid and picturesque. The ornaments of the
Hungarian Dance (Op. 109, No. 4, B minor) play a prominent part in the musical
material. Its piano writing creates an exotic atmosphere by imitating the color-effects of
the cimbalom (a Hungarian box zither), reproduced by grace notes, trills, and a swirling
cadenza of glissando-like scale (Example 57).
125
Example 57. Ungarisch, Op. 109, No. 4, mm. 42-53



The Mazurka (Op. 109, No. 6, G minor) is written after the moderate mazur, one of the
three regional types of the dance.
19
With the indication Sehr markiert, it is fiery and
invigorating in character. The main rhythmic feature of the piece is the irregular
accentuations, often on the second beat, and its melodic pattern is characterized by the
grace notes, ornamental figures, wide leaps, and scale-runs. Drone bass also appears in
the secondo at the beginning, as the usual accompaniment to the dance (Example 58).




19
The other two types of the mazurka are the slow kujawiak and the fast obertas or oberek.
126
Example 58. Mazurka, Op. 109, No. 6, mm. 1-10




These characteristics, all typical and important to the mazurka, make the piece highly
effective. The Minuet (Op. 130, No. 3, D major), marked etwas gravittisch (a little
serious), consists of three sections, each section being in binary form, with the regular
phrases constructed of four-measure units. In contrast to the slow and stately minuet,
there are two types of contredanse (country dance) in both sets: the French Dance (Op.
109, No. 5 and Op. 130, No. 5) and the Ecossaise (Op. 109, No. 7 and Op. 130, No. 4).
They are fast and energetic, written in the lively 2/4 (Ecossaise) and 6/8 (French Dance)
times and employ simple motivic and textural qualities typical of the dances.
127
Although the three sets of piano duets cannot surpass the beauty of his solo piano
music for children, they are among the most spontaneous and delightful works in
Schumanns repertory. With their beautiful ideas, exquisite melodies, varied rhythms, and
contrasted styles, they represent Schumann still at the height of his creative powers, still
capable of wonderful things. Schumann continued throughout his life making musical
gifts for children. It is the piano duet, Childrens Ball, that marks his final point of
contact with the theme of childhood, a love of children and nostalgia for his own carefree
childhood.







COUCLUSION

The influence of childhood, a popular theme in the Romantic art and culture, was
deeply present within the realms of Schumanns creative inspiration throughout his
career. He wrote many compositions deliberately for and closely related to the topic of
the child. The most characteristic and successful examples of Schumanns engagement
with the theme of childhood are his piano music for children. In many respects, these
works reflect Schumanns life, personality, and musical journey. As the recollections of
his own childhood and that of his children, they suggest Schumann was captivated by its
purity, innocence, and naivety. And that explains to a great extent the childlike side of
Schumanns nature, and his delight in the childs mind. As the responses to the outside
influences of the topic, they mirrored the cultural conception of childhood and the
development of childrens education at that time. Additionally, through their evocative
depictions of the simple, fresh, and nave childhood, these piano works serve as
manifestations of Schumanns love for his childrena lasting source of musical
inspiration and mental comfort for him. Schumanns piano music for children extends
from different periods of his composing career youth, maturity, and late years. From
the early Kinderszenen (1838) to the final Childrens Ball (1853), in the space of fifteen
years, Schumann had come full circle.
129
Schumanns piano music for children embodies his inner thoughts and reflections
on childhood. In every child is found a wondrous depth, he wrote in 1833.
1
He made an
effort to regain and keep the essence of childhood and returned repeatedly to it as sources
of inspirations for his compositions. For his children, Schumann offered plentiful and
valuable workssome collections were written with a clearly pedagogical aim. For
himself, in composing and playing the music for children, Schumann looked back on his
own childhood with delight and wistful longing, at the same time happy and painful.
Through these innocent and poetic miniatures of the very soul of childhood, Schumann
must have rediscovered the ways of his lost past.
Musically, Schumanns piano works for children embrace his individuality. Some
of the pieces are full of spirit, while others are more poetic. They share the same fresh
melodies, appealing harmonies, and the same dream-like poetry and evocative
imagination that are the characteristics of Schumanns best works and the essential keys
to childrens initiation into music. Schumann developed a corpus of musical literature,
which was genuinely for children. The path that he marked out later attracted and
stimulated many other names of music history: Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel,
Stravinsky, Bartok, Prokofiev and many more.


1
Robert Schumann, Aus Meister Raros, Florestans und Eusebius Denk- und Dichtbuchlein, in
Der junge Schumann: Dichtungen und Briefe, ed. Alfred Schumann (Leipzig, 1917), 30, quoted in J ensen,
Schumann, 337.
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136
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J oachim Draheim und Bernhard R. Appel. Mainz and New York: Schott, 2001.







APPENDIX A
1

SELECTED REVIEWS OF SCHUMANNS PIANO MUSIC
FOR CHILDREN BY LISZT


In the Album fr die Jugend, Op. 68, and the Klavierstcke fr kleine und grosse
Kinder, Op. 85, that grace is apparent, that navet always striking the proper tone,
that spiritual feature that often strangely affects us in children, when their easy
credibility makes us smile, when the sharpness of their questions sets us backa
feature also found in the cultural beginnings of people, where it offers that tone of
imaginative navet that the longing for the wonderful awakens, and that formerly
lent all its charm to Aesops Fables, the Gnomen- and Sylphenmarchen, and the tales
of Perrault (Bluebeard, Little Red Riding Hood), still today the entrancement of
youth and among the honored reading of their most lovely memories. With what
discrimination [Schumann] allowed the most varied impressions of youth to follow
one another; how harmoniously he divided light and shade in the procession of events
in the external life of the child as he depicted the childs inwardness!

And, to pause for a moment on one generally known work [Kinderszenen, Op. 15],
how fortuitous the sequence of piece is! If during the tale of Fremde Lnder und
Menschen [no. 1] one imagines the obedient, blond childrens heads turned stiffly
toward the narrators face, in the Curiose Geschichte [no. 2] their aroused fantasy is
again directed to their surroundings, where the Haschemann [no. 3] then makes a
transition to their tumbling and playing. But there is one child whose thoughts roam
afar, to the impossible, who wishes to pile joy on joy, game on game. One answers
this Bittendes Kind [no. 4] with a wise, soft reproach: Glckes genug [no. 5]! So
the hardly developed souls must learn the difficult truth about earthly inadequacy,
whose painful frailty is that we may not drink continually at the well of
sentimentality, of the pleasures of the imagination. But this inner maxim is followed
by a Wichtige Begebenheit [no. 6]. Here the young minds turn from their inhibiting
dreams, from their distress caused by the slightest reproach, to the changing
circumstances of reality. For some the principal charm again lies in that, stimulated to
earnest contemplation, they indulge in precious Trumereien [no. 7], in which one


1
The selected reviews are portions of a lengthy series of articles about Schumann issued by Liszt
in the Neue Zeitschrift fr Musik in 1855. See Liszt, Robert Schumann (1855), 354-56.
138
can never abandon oneself better than Am Kamin [no. 8], by the crackling flame of
the hearth. There again commence the wonderful tales full of marvelous adventures,
such as the Ritter vom Steckenpferd [no. 9], or full of horrors and shivering
shudders, when they become Fast zu ernst [no. 10] or take fright
[Frchtenmachen, no. 11]. But now that most gentle, kind sprit, the sandman,
descends upon the eyes of the Einschlummerndes Kind [no. 12] weary from all the
confusing images. Then Der Dichter [no. 13] speaks to those at rest, blessing all the
little events of the day and raising their significance with his contemplative mind, for
they reflect symbolically the great events of mature life and often appear in the same
sequence, stimulated by the same impressions. One can say that nearly all
Schumanns works conclude with this last quality: each time we imagine ourselves
seized by the consecration of a poetic saying, we feel as if the poet, just him and no
other, has turned to us and left us after greeting us.

The and the Waldscenen (Op. 82) are, with their exceptional grace, full of the
rarest distinctions; they lend the local color a certain charm that some will vainly try
to reproduce from their external form, instead of pursuing their mystery by divining
the feeling that form arouses in mortal hearts. The last two works transport us with
poetic truth to the fresh air of northern forest or the glowing soils of the Orient; we
see the golden dust that glistened on Naxos when the god of wine was born, or the
turquoise heaven with mauve clouds, under which the Thuringian hunter looks after
the noble maid. And while such images hover before the eyes of the inspired soul, the
soul simultaneously imagines hearing the song of a lark, or the soft step of a hind who
dares to come forth from a thicket, or the whispering stirring of that Aegean sea that
washed against Athens and Ionia, those two places of cultivation and elegance. And
no one will confuse the uproar accompanying the wild hunt with the thunder that
announces the approach of a jinni to the Moslem then still the ruler of that sea.

The and the Ballszenen (Op. 109) depict easel paintings in which a hundred
touches of coquetry, enjoyment, passion, love, blindness, and dizziness are splendidly
reproduced as they are aroused by the dance and allowed to overflow, turning
incessantly from heart to heart, until all is entwined with the same electric chain of
the most charming intoxication.






APPENDIX B
1

CLARA SCHUMANNS EXPLAINATION AND INTERPRETATION
OF PIECES FROM THE ALBUM FOR THE YOUNG

(Recollected by Eugenie Schumann)


So we took each of these little gems [in the Album for the Young] one by one in their
proper order, and I remember every word the beloved teacher [my mother] said about
them. Whatever your father did, saw, read, would at once shape itself into music.
When he read poetry, resting on the sofa after dinner, it turned into songs. When he
saw you children at play, little pieces of music grew out of your games. While he was
writing down the Humoresque, some acrobats same along and performed in front of
our house; imperceptibly the music they made stole into the composition. He was
always quite unconscious of these inspirations; it would be foolish to think that he
had used them intentionally as an incentive. He invented their titles after they were
finished. These are quite characteristic, and might help in the interpretation, but they
are not necessary. When I asked her what the three little asterisks at the head of Nos.
21, 16, and 30 meant, she said with a tender look that he [Schumann] might have
meant the thoughts of parents about their children.
The first piece I learnt was Armes Waisenkind [Poor Orphan, No. 6], and my
mother explained it to me like this:
This is a theme of eight bars divided into twice four. The second four are a
repetition of the first, all but the ending, which leads back to the tonic, while the first
four end on the dominant. In a case like that you must vary the dynamics of the
second four bars from those of the first, either shade them more strongly or more
softly, but end them as strongly as you began the piece. Where the entire eight bars
are repeated, play them exactly like the first time. If they are again repeated in the
course of the piece, shade them differently the third time. In this Armes
Waisenkind I should play the last repetition softly, graduating it to a pianissimo.

Of the J gerliedchen [Hunters Song], No. 7, she said, I can see the whole hunt
before me, horns blowing, horses prancing, the hunters arriving from all sides.
Where the middle part is marked piano she said, The startled deer are flying into the


1
Eugenie Schumann, Our Mother, in Memoirs of Eugenie Schumann, 98-101.
140
bushes. Four bars from the end, where the F unexpectedly becomes a G, she said, A
buglers note has cracked; you will have heard the horns in the orchestra do that
sometimes.
Of the Frhlicher Landmann [The Merry Peasant, No. 10] she said that the
father was at first singing alone; his little son joins him in the middle part. Neither
this nor the Schnitterlied [Reapers Song, No. 18] should be played too fast: Look
at peasants doing their work; you will find that they never hurry themselves, not even
in their dances.
In Knecht Ruprecht [Knight Rupert, No. 12] Santa Claus could be heard
stumbling upstairs knocking his staff on each step. In the middle part the trembling
children hide, the old saint speaks encouragingly to them, empties his sack, and
stumps downstairs again.

In the Kleiner Morgenwanderer [The Little Dawn-Wanderer, No. 17] she taught
me to play the chords as though I were lifting my feet in marching, not quite legato,
and I felt at once that this gave the right character to the piece. She thought that the
little wanderer was rather depressed in the beginning of the second part, at the
thought of leaving home, but soon relieved his feelings with a yodel and walked on
bravely, until the village was lost to his sight and he only heard the church bells
ringing.
In Lndliches Lied [Rustic Song], No. 20, clearly a few girls only were singing
at first; then a mixed chorus of boys and girls joins them. At the beginning of the
second part one girl is singing a solo, and at the return of the first theme one of the
boys accompanies her on a reed pipe which he has just cut for himself.
Mignon [No. 35] was one of her favourties. I was always looking forward to
the fourth and third bars from the end, where careful shading will quite naturally give
the intended significance to the dissonance.
Last of all I studied the Matrosenlied [Sailors Song], No. 37. I see before
me, as in a picture, the infinite loneliness and melancholy of the sea, the watchs call,
the heavy tread of sailors, their ponderous dance.
Explanations of this kind were very helpful to me. I remember the sforzati, which
I played meaninglessly and, as my mother said, anaemically, in Wilder Reiter [The
Wild Horseman], No. 8. When a breakneck rider gallops about the room, he knocks
his hobby-horse against chairs and tables. But it must not be thought that my
mother was at all lavish with picturesque illustrations of this kind. She only gave
them where she thought that they would help with the interpretation, and sometimes
with no intention to instruct, simply because these images were a pleasure to herself.
Later in my life I once asked her whether all music conveyed pictures to her, and she
said, Yes; and the older I grow, the more.
But, as I have said, she never insisted on definite images, and never repeated
them, but left it to the pupils to adopt as much of them as they liked.