Robert Schumann

Fantasiestücke (8 Fantasy Pieces), for piano, Op. 12

    Description by Steven Coburn

    Schumann's Eight Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 (1837), together constitute one of the composer's finest and most representative works. Intended to be played as an intact group, the set retains enough typical dance forms to be regarded as a sort of dance suite, though the pieces are longer and more complex than those of "true" dance suites like Carnaval, Op. 9 (1833-1835), and Davidsbündlertanze, Op. 6 (1837). Most of the pieces are constructed in novel permutations of rounded binary and ternary forms; nearly all have contrasting, trio-like middle sections.

    The first of the pieces, "Des Abends" (Evening), is a lyrical nocturne that makes interesting use of cross-rhythms. "Aufschwung" (Soaring) probably, the best-known member of the set, contrasts an aggressive opening with a fluent, lyrical "finger" passage; the central section, which employs longer rhythms, is more lyrical yet. "Warum?" (Why?) is simple and straightforward, in Schumann's most lyrical "Eusebius" style. In "Grillen" (Whims), Schumann demonstrates his ability to use rhythm to convey subtle humor; the central section employs a striking, almost archaic, chorale-like style. "In der Nacht" (In the Night), an impassioned, etude-like tone poem, is among the loveliest of the pieces. The one member of the set that eschews dance form is "Fabel" (Fable); here Schumann contrasts a slow introduction with faster episodic passages. "Traumes Wirren" (Restless Dreams) is also etude-like, but is light and buoyant in mood. The final piece, "Ende vom Lied" (End of the Song), has, despite its brevity, a certain epic quality. The coda almost seems like an afterthought, intended as an ending for the whole set rather than for this movement in particular. After the composer's death, an additional piece, "Feurigst" (Fiery), was added to the set. Though it is authentically by Schumann, it is generally considered a mismatch with the other pieces and is rarely performed with them.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Des Abends, in D flat major. Sehr innig spielen
    2. Aufschwung, in F minor. Sehr rasch
    3. Warum?, in D flat major. Langsam and zart
    4. Grillen, in D flat major. Mit Humor
    5. In der Nacht, in F minor. Mit Leidenschaft
    6. Fabel, in C major. Langsam
    7. Traumes Wirren, in F major. Aeusserst lebhaft
    8. Ende vom Lied, in F major. Mit gutem Humor
    9. Fantasiestuck, in A flat major. Feurigst, con fuoco, WoO 28

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 Flipside Music FL 0013
    2018 ECM B002877302
    2018 Warner Classics
    2018 Warner Classics 0190295704940
    2018 Ypsilon International YIL 003
    2018 Gramola GRAM 99177
    2018 Hänssler Classic HC 17037
    2018 Phaedra Classics PH 292037
    2017 Sony Classical 88985416702
    2017 CAvi-music AVI 8553366
    2017 APR (Appian) APR 7505
    2016 Sony Classical 88985320352
    2016 RCA Red Seal 88985321742
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4795448
    2015 Albany Music Distribution / Albany Records TROY 1601/02
    2015 Harmonia Mundi HMX 290873941
    2015 ICSM ICSM 003
    2015 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] 8508016
    2015 Brilliant Classics 95020BR
    2014 Wigmore Hall Live WHLCD 0068
    2014 Brilliant Classics 94436
    2014 LP Classics 1007A/B
    2014 Harmonia Mundi HMC 902171
    2014 Avie AVR 2261
    2013 Genuin GEN 13283
    2013 Meridian Records MER 94600
    2013 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] 8571298
    2013 Chandos CHAN 10755
    2013 Genuin GEN 13272
    2013 BIS 2010
    2012 Thorofon / Zebralution
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Sony Classical 88691912562
    2012 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 12007
    2012 Alpha / Alpha Productions ALPHA 813
    2012 Centaur Records CRC 3177
    2012 Melodiya MELCD 1002064
    2012 EMI Classics
    2012 Concerto / Zebralution
    2011 RCA Red Seal 886919369120
    2011 K&K Verlagsanstalt KuK 103
    2011 Entertainment Group 1204
    2011 Sony Classical 88697858282
    2011 The Entertainment Group 1034
    2011 Newton Classics 8802084
    2011 Documents 233080
    2011 Royal Philharmonic Masterworks / Sheridan Square Records RPM 28710
    2010 Dux Records 633
    2010 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] / Naxos 8571279
    2010 Music Agents 505
    2010 Urania / Urania Records 121101
    2010 Genuin 10192
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94008
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 002894778816
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 EMI Classics 13251
    2009 Appian 7302
    2009 Document 231752
    2009 Archipel / Archipel Records 0386
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    2009 Deutsche Grammophon 4778122
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    2008 Conoisseur Society 4256
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    2007 Cmireb / Queen Elisabeth Competition QEC 2007
    2007 Verdi Music 5658912
    2007 Universal Classics & Jazz
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    2006 Music & Arts 1181
    2006 Claves 502601/02
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000743302
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    2006 EMI Classics 347826
    2005 Ivory Records IVCD75002
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    2001 Angel Records / EMI Classics 57101
    2001 Rca Red Seal 63020
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    2001 Aura Classics 0122
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    2000 Rca Red Seal 63071
    2000 Amadis 7147
    1999 Philips 456967
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 Philips 454987
    1999 Biddulph Recordings LHW011
    1999 Agora Musica 116
    1999 Live Classics 311
    1999 Opal 9858
    1999 RCA Red Seal 63000
    1998 Philips 456727
    1997 CPO 999431
    1996 Testament 1023
    1996 Philips 446920
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    1995 Madacy Distribution / GMS Records / Madacy LPC-7610
    1994 Multisonic 0063
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    1992 EMI Music Distribution 67366
    1992 Philips 4347322
    1991 CBS Records / Sony Music Distribution SX11K-48153
    1990 Rca Red Seal 5667
    1990 CBS Records 32299
    RCA 61160
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    Divox 25208
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    MDG 6421086
    www.pianissimo.info
    Pearl 99049
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