Living with Robert Schumann’s Music 1/20/17

January 20, 2017

I have been tinkering with Robert Schumann’s Davidsbundlertanze Op. 6. This is an amazing music to live with. The life and music of Robert and Clara Schumann is my life long theme. Their romance and relationship created great music, and they substantially influenced musicians and artists in 19 century. Without them I believe the music scene was completely different in that era. Robert initially wrote this piece as the wedding gift to Clara, and he revised it later. But Clara had trouble understanding this work first and she took it into her repertoire after Robert died.

There are 18 movements in 2 books in Davidsbundlertanze. Each movement reflects Robert’s different mood and thought with 2 characters, Florestan and Eusebius. For instance the 1st movement ends with his voice (in my imagination) “Everything will be fine if I am with Clara”. This phrase appears in the middle of the movement as well. 2nd movement starts with Robert’s melancholy, but he sees stars in the night sky and he remembers Clara (in  my image again!). I have my imagination in each movement and it is so fun to play through. In 4th movement in Book 2 Robert feels triumph over Clara’s father (my image!) and the passage is a triumph march (similar to Chopin’s march in Fantasy. Of course Chopin’s march is political triumph). In 9th movement in Book 1 Clara and Robert dance with laugh. They may be slightly drunk! I can go on forever to talk about this piece! There are many great recordings of Davidsbundlertanze. If you can’t come to my performances please listen the great pianists playing Schumann! I am sure you will enjoy it.