Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy 16th!

Martha Argerich performs the complete Kreisleriana, op. 16 by Robert Schumann.  Kreisleriana, an early work written in 1838, is an eight-movement piece for solo piano, entitled Phantasien für das Pianoforte. Dedicated to Frédéric Chopin, it is a very dramatic work and is considered to be one of Schumann's finest-written compositions for the piano. Some have suggested that this work represents the fictional character Johannes Kreisler from the works of E.T.A. Hoffmann. Like Kreisler, each piece has 2 very different sections, resembling the imaginary musician's manic-depression, and perhaps recalling Florestan and Eusebius, the two imaginary characters created by Schumann himself, who said that they represented his impulsive and dreamy sides, respectively. Johannes Kreisler appeared in three books by E.T.A. Hoffman, most notably the one of the same name of this piece.  The word Kreisleriana is also an anagram of the German-language phrase, Klara, sei rein!: Klara, Be Pure!

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