I had a good forehead-smacking moment working on my Schumann Trilogy.

The first piece in the trilogy is called Fantasie.  I was struggling with one of the transitions when I gave myself the aforementioned pink hairporch.  “This piece is an homage to Schumann,” I thought, “to hell with the transitions!”

Many of Schumann’s early piano works are famously transitionless.  Papillons, Carnaval and other collections are comprised of brief character pieces – miniatures — strung together, with abrupt contrasts the norm.    The result, for me, is profoundly disorienting: to listen to some of these works is to enter into a pleasant kind of delirium.

So now I am starting over (have I ever mentioned how much I love starting a piece, then starting over?), with the Fantasiestücke model in mind.  We’ll see where it leads – there are all kinds of interesting possibilities.

One Response to “Brow Beating”
  1. Lawrence Dillon says:

    Alex Ross has a wonderful description of this formal device in Schumann’s Kreisleriana in the August 24 New Yorker issue: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2009/08/24/090824crat_atlarge_ross

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