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 Post subject: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:51 pm 
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It´s a great luck, that we a have a very talented young clarinetist at the Secondary School, where I work as a teacher. Her name is Cordula Herlt and she is fourteen. She actually has won the "Provincial prize" (that means the first prize of federal state "Hessen" in Germany) in her group of age and she made 19 points on the federal area in her group of age during the competition "Jugend musiziert" (="youth makes music", tranlated in English). It´s the most famous and well-known german music competition for the youth (up to age of 21).

For me it´s a gift to work with Cordula Herlt on chamber music. We decided to perform Robert Schumanns "Fantasiestücke" for clarinet and piano, op. 73 during the Academic Farewell Party for our high-school graduates this year. We think, we only will perform the first and the second movement, for the third we didn´t have enough time to practise and there should be performed also some other pieces during this event.

Cordulas multitudinous duties concerning music didn´t allow her to practise too much on these pieces, and I have to say, she manages it excellently. So, we kindly ask to be indulgent for some very few little imperfections in the last movement, but we thought, it´s better to publish a complete recording of all three movements than only of the first and second.

I personally have played the "Fantasiestücke" op. 73 in 1987, when I took part at the master class of Andras Schiff during "International Musicians Seminar" at Prussia Cove in Cornwall/England, but it´s a quite long time ago now and if you listen at the little slips of the pianist in the third movement you know, what I mean. :wink:

Schumann wrote three movements of op. 73 and prescribed "attaca" between all the movements, so we decided to put all three movements into one file, the titles are:
1. Zart und mit Ausdruck (tender and with expression)
2. Lebhaft, leicht (lively, effortless)
3. rasch und mit Feuer (rapid and with fire, i. e. with temperament)

If you wish to have the three movements separately on the site, tell it to me, please, Chris.

Comments are appreciated, of course. (This time I haven´t made a video, by the way.)

Schumann - Fantasiestucke Op.73 - 1: Zart und mit Ausdruck (3:02)
Schumann - Fantasiestucke Op.73 - 2: Lebhaft, leicht (3:24)
Schumann - Fantasiestucke Op.73 - 3: Rasch und mit Feuer (3:55)

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:07 am 
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Hi Andreas,

Cordula played this Fantasiestuke very well in my opinion. And only 14 years old! Brava!

Also congratulations to her fine collaborator. The piano part in this piece is often very busy and sometimes at a brisk tempo too.

A wonderful performance overall. Thanks for sharing it here.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:59 am 
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I know this set! It is beautiful...
The clarinettist has certainly a good technique. But the enjoyable musical details on these recordings are maily occupied by the pianist. (Congrats, Andreas!) However when we think of her age, this is a great job.

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:56 am 
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Nice to hear these again ! I have played these often with my viola partner. Many clarinet works, like this set and the late Brahms sonatas, sound splendily on viola, and I've come to prefer them for that instrument now - which is nothing bad to say about the originals of course.. Great playing on both sides, though I find the sound a bit dry, and the clarinettists' tone a bit monotonous (maybe to be expected from one so young). I could imagine a bit more drama and passion here (we took a more stormy approach in places :wink: ), but that is purely personal. The piano part is not overly hard, but not to be sniffed at either, quite a handful in fact, and a couple of little flubs are no problem.

I would certainly prefer to have separate tracks for the site so that we can make a normal table.

It seemed to me like the middle one had different volume settings ? It suddenly sounded much louder and closer-up. Could be my imagination.

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Dear David,
thank you for your kind, encouraging and appreciated comment! (I will listen to your new Catoire as soon as possible, I´m still curious.)

Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
Cordula played this Fantasiestuke very well in my opinion. And only 14 years old! Brava!


I second this at hundred percent! For her age this is an extraordinary and splendid achievement!

Quote:
The piano part in this piece is often very busy and sometimes at a brisk tempo too.


Indeed, especially in the third movement there is a lot to do for the pianist (and also for the clarinetist). It´s full of fascinating ideas, f.ex. the octaves with the "restriking" sixteenth (german: nachschlagende Sechzehntel) gives it something like a hunting character. For me this third movement is like an epitome of Storm-and-Stress feeling! I really love it.

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Last edited by musicusblau on Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:18 pm 
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Thank you for listening and your kind and encouraging words, Hye-Jin.

hyenal wrote:
Quote:
However when we think of her age, this is a great job.


That´s very important to consider. In my humble opinion Cordula plays her part very expressively and musically and, of course, there still is potential for development.

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:10 pm 
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Hi Chris,
thank you for your encouraging and useful comment!

Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Nice to hear these again ! I have played these often with my viola partner. Many clarinet works, like this set and the late Brahms sonatas, sound splendily on viola, and I've come to prefer them for that instrument now - which is nothing bad to say about the originals of course..


Very interesting, I have played it with Cello then in 1987. Originally it is for piano and clarinet (violin or cello ad. lib.) and it was released by Clara Schumann in 1885, the viola version must be an arrangement, probably later done and not by Schumann himself.

Quote:
Great playing on both sides,


Thanks for this.

Quote:
though I find the sound a bit dry, and the clarinettists' tone a bit monotonous (maybe to be expected from one so young). I could imagine a bit more drama and passion here (we took a more stormy approach in places :wink: ), but that is purely personal.


These are very good tips, I agree! :D Especially the third movement should be played with a bit more "fire" (like it is said by Schumann himself), but we would definitively need more time to practise on it. The first and second movement still has some passion, but could be more here and there.

Quote:
The piano part is not overly hard, but not to be sniffed at either, quite a handful in fact,


I agree, mainly it´s the third movement, which needs some practise to be played in a high tempo.

Quote:
I would certainly prefer to have separate tracks for the site so that we can make a normal table.


No problem, Chris, I add the separate files below.

Quote:
It seemed to me like the middle one had different volume settings ? It suddenly sounded much louder and closer-up. Could be my imagination.


Yes, you are right. We have recorded it with my new Zoom H4 and my Neumann KM 184 mics. I have set the recording level on "automatic", at the beginning of the second movement there is only the piano. I have put one mic in direction to the piano and the other one to the position of the clarinet. I think, that´s the reason, why the piano-part at the beginning of the second part is a bit louder than in those parts, in which the piano and the clarinet play together. Somehow I haven´t thought about that could happen, I´m sorry. :oops:

Here are the separate movements:

Schumann - Fantasiestucke Op.73 - 1: Zart und mit Ausdruck (3:02)
Schumann - Fantasiestucke Op.73 - 2: Lebhaft, leicht (3:24)
Schumann - Fantasiestucke Op.73 - 3: Rasch und mit Feuer (3:55)

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:20 pm 
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I think something has gone wrong with these files during my upload. They won't play and I had problems with the ID3 tags.
Can you re-upload them please?

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:40 am 
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Correctio... No don't re-upload them. I still have copies of the originals and these seem ok. I'll try the upload again.

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:17 am 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Correctio... No don't re-upload them. I still have copies of the originals and these seem ok. I'll try the upload again.


Thank you, Chris. I have tried the links above and they really don´t work! (Sorry, yesterday in the evening I wasn´t at home and couldn´t look here.)

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Ok, these are corrected and up on the site. I've put them in Schumann Miscellaneous.

Not sure how I mucked up these files the first time.... I guess my semi-automated release procedure is wonky. A typical programmer's situation - trying to save time automating manual tasks, only to find out it takes even more time and sweat (not even counting the time spend on programming the code). The programmatic generation of of ID3 tags and durations is a nightmare. Bah. Why can't these things be easy and straightforward. :x

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:30 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Ok, these are corrected and up on the site. I've put them in Schumann Miscellaneous.


Thank you, Chris! And what a nice table. :D I have to admit, I have been a bit surprised to see, that Cordula and me, we were the first, who have recorded it for PS. At least I thought, I would find a recording of you and your Viola-partner or some other recordings, because these pieces are quite popular, aren´t they?!

Quote:
Not sure how I mucked up these files the first time.... I guess my semi-automated release procedure is wonky. A typical programmer's situation - trying to save time automating manual tasks, only to find out it takes even more time and sweat (not even counting the time spend on programming the code). The programmatic generation of of ID3 tags and durations is a nightmare. Bah. Why can't these things be easy and straightforward. :x


Sorry about that, but you can be quiet, for me it would be a much bigger nightmare than for you! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:00 pm 
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Hi Andreas,

Beautiful music, which reminds me of my unfinished Nachtstücke project :oops: - but I still have some months before the end of this Schumann year.
I already knew these Fantasiestücke and I prefer them in this setting (with clarinet) more than with viola/cello. You say you didn't practice much the third Fantasie, but both of you did excellently, without sacrificing too much in expressivity. Bring my congratulations also to your young musical partner.

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:11 pm 
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Hi Alfonso,
nice to "see" you here, thank you for your encouraging comment. :D

Quote:
Beautiful music, which reminds me of my unfinished Nachtstücke project :oops: - but I still have some months before the end of this Schumann year.


That´s a nice project. I´m curious.

Quote:
I already knew these Fantasiestücke and I prefer them in this setting (with clarinet) more than with viola/cello.


I like them both to be honest. Every instrument has its special force of attraction.

Quote:
You say you didn't practice much the third Fantasie, but both of you did excellently, without sacrificing too much in expressivity. Bring my congratulations also to your young musical partner.


Thanks for this. I will do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Schumann Fantasiestücke op.73 for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:51 am 
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musicusblau wrote:
Quote:
I already knew these Fantasiestücke and I prefer them in this setting (with clarinet) more than with viola/cello.


I like them both to be honest. Every instrument has its special force of attraction.


That's very true (and I have nothing against the viola!), but I believe that the clarinet's timbre blends better with piano.

Edit: I wonder how would vuvuzela blend with piano: http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/2010/06/brahms-and-ravel-on-vuvuzela.html :lol:

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