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The Foundations of Music SCHUMANN'S SONGS

Synopsis

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sung by ANNE THURSFIELD (Soprano)
Morgens stoh ich auf und frage (in the Morning I arise and ask)
Verratene Liebe (Love betrayed)
Das verlassene Miigdalein (The-forsaken Lass)
Schöne Wiege meiner Leiden (Dear
Cradle of my Sorrows)
Stiindehen (Serenade) Loreley (Loreley)
Waldesgespräch (Forest Legend)
THROUGHOUT his life as a com-
JL poser Schumann was scarcely ever free from the grip of one possessive enthusiasm after another. First it was music for the pianoforte, then songs, then chamber music, and after that music for the orchestra, and while he was under the domination of one enthusiasm, he paid attention to no other. Thus, until he was thirty he had composed scarcely anything but piano music and no songs at all. Indeed, he had at that time little esteem for the song. ' All my life,' he had once written, ' I have put vocal music on a lower level than instrumental, and have never regarded it as a great art,' and this in the face of his great admiration for Schubert who, scarcely a dozen years in his grave, had raised the song to what Schumann must have realised was an art that could not be regarded as otherwise than great. However, lie atoned and very fully atoned; for the songs Schumann did presently compose are amongst the most beautiful in the repertory of song.
Practically all Schumann's songs were written in his thirtieth year, 1840, and for the most part of that year he composed nothing but songs -amounting to more than a hun'dred. They were the outpourings of happiness; he was truly in an ecstasy, for it was at last agreed that he should marry his belo.ved Clara. ' Oh, Clara, what bliss to write songs,' he writes to her in February; again a little later, ' Without such a sweetheart, one cannot compose such music'; and once more, in May, ' I can't help it, I should like to sing myself to death like a nightingale.' In September Schumann was married to Clara Wieck , and in that joy, as with the nightingale, the ecstatic singer made for a time no more songs.

Contributors

Soprano: Anne Thursfield
Unknown: Clara Wieck






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