Robert Schumann

Sketches (4) for pedal piano, Op. 58

    Description by Robert Cummings

    This collection of short works was written during the same year as Schumann's other set of pieces for pedal piano (pedalflugel), the Pieces (6) in Canon Form, Op. 56. Neither collection is performed very often on the instrument specified by the composer, but played instead on organ and sometimes on piano. The pedal piano has a curious sound to modern ears, though it resembles the organ in its sustaining sonorities. The Sketches (4) comprising Schumann's Op. 58 collection are related in their sharing of a thematic germ in the first notes of their chief melodies. The first two Sketches are marked Nicht schnell und sehr markiert (Not fast and very marked) and exhibit thematic similarity in more than just the first few notes of their respective main themes. In the first Sketch (C minor), the opening theme appears as a hesitant march-like creation that moves forward in jerky motions, but amid a measure of pomp. In the second piece (C major), the melody is more grandiose and celebratory, quite festive and regal in mood. The third Sketch (F minor) is marked Lebhaft (Lively), wherein there is an over anxious running accompaniment in the left hand of a dramatic motif of six notes related to the themes in the first two pieces is heard. The last of the Sketches (D flat major), marked Allegretto, features a variant on that same motivic morsel, but in playful, jaunty music. All of these pieces are worthwhile efforts, whether heard on pedal piano or organ, or even on piano.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Esquisse in C minor. Nicht schnell und sehr markirt
    2. Esquisse in C major. Nicht schnell und seht markirt
    3. Esquisse in F minor. Lebhaft
    4. Esquisse in D flat major. Allegretto

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95310BR
    2015 Ligia LIDI 0104279
    2015 Brilliant Classics 95020BR
    2014 Haenssler 98032
    2014 Brilliant Classics 94721
    2013 Motette MT 13691
    2013 Telos / Telos Music TLS 057
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Vox 3001
    2011 Stradivarius DB 072010
    2011 Naïve V 5278
    2011 Ligia 104222
    2011 Regent REGCD 347
    2010 Berlin Classics 0016562
    2009 Regent REGCD289
    2009 Document 231752
    2008 Ars Produktion 38011
    2008 Herald Records HAVP 291
    2006 Resonance 3077
    2002 Haenssler 98342
    2001 Nuova Era 7353
    2000 Raven 490
    1999 Nuova Era 7316
    1999 JAV Recordings JAV117
    1997 Arts Music 47112
    1996 ASV 6127
    1996 MDG 3170619
    1994 Gothic Records 49065
    Solstice Records FY 023
    REM 311135