Robert Schumann
Fantasie in C major, for piano, Op. 17


3.0
good

Review

by Jake C. Taylor USER (89 Reviews)
July 25th, 2008 | 16 replies | 5,656 views


Release Date: 1836 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Robert Schumann’s piano works include many unrecognised beauties. One of these is his Fantasie in C major, partly derived from moments in Ludwig van Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte. It is uncharacteristically unique in that it depicts Schumann at his most well rooted position within his developing style, before he would turn to a much more standard flow within later works. Naturally, like all other composers, he has moments of distinction and moments of indifference for separation from original musical techniques. His Fantasie stands at each end of the scale for being both confidently conventional, and tentatively experimental.

The work begins with a piece that translates to “Absolutely fantastic and passionate presentation” – a note for the recitalist to avidly maintain whilst performing. In three sections the piece (which itself solely resembles fantasy form) hails through rough landscapes of dense notation, rolling descends in the left with distant melodic accompaniment in the right. It moves into the minor later on, which is much more timely and measured in appearance, with nebulous clouds of chords decaying amongst the romantic melodic line. And finally continues out of sadness and into an area which resembles the manic construction of the first section. It won’t be held up as one of the most recognisable pieces ever composed, but for Schumann is it certainly one of his finest moments in composition.

The other two movements however are more conservative in structure, and rather bland in contrast to the initiator. Part of this arrives at the fact that they are actually compositions which were added on to the original proposition. It’s unclear as to why he did this, because they are musically very foreign to the current formula. The “Massig” begins with much promise behind arpeggiated chords reminiscent of what Modest Mussorgsky later went on to demonstrate in “The Great Gate of Kiev”, but quickly changes into a innocent tone that gallops over the rhythmic waltz like feel. Such a piece feels much more suited for his Kinderszenen (scenes from childhood) suite, and only detracts further from the next movement which again means well in its opening facets, but keeps a constant distance from the well endowed first movement through a similar pattern of melodic and chordal ideas.

Keep in mind though, that while the initiator is much more impressive upon the first listen, the other two movements that make up the better half of the work, do after time make a niche within the listener's area for appreciation. It weevils down to one thing in the end: density. His dense initial ideas that introduce the scheme tip toe around what seems to be a reluctance to show a different form, and yet it is arguably one of his finest moments despite this. And then there are the less dense moments (II, III) that take more time to understand completely within the context, but still have a place is his catalogue and would-be listener. Context aside though, those who cite Schumann’s Fantasie in C, really are alluding to the true essence of the work, which is predominantly to be found in the dreamy landscape of the first movement, making it well worth consideration.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
foreverendeared
July 25th 2008



14678 Comments


you rock my sputnik world

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 25th 2008



3995 Comments


Wait who conducted and performed this?

taylormemer
July 25th 2008



4887 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wait who conducted and performed this?


^^
If you read my Classical thread on the forums, you might understand.This Message Edited On 07.25.08

foreverendeared
July 25th 2008



14678 Comments


where is this thread you speak of. i cannot find it

taylormemer
July 25th 2008



4887 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/showthread.php?t=556740

foreverendeared
July 25th 2008



14678 Comments


ok cool. yeah i already kinda figured out what you were doing but i had no idea there was actually a discussion about it

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2008



15693 Comments


I charge you with doing some Stravinsky and Messiaen, Mr. Taylor.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2008



20825 Comments


I think it's safe to suggest that this album can be given the title of #1 album of 1836.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 26th 2008



3995 Comments


What you're trying to do is write music criticism of the actual piece, which even then is usually in reference to the debut performance of the piece. Maybe if you were writing in 1836 for a music journal this would be appropriate in theory (in practice it's not really anyway since this is not music writing), but you're writing for sputnikmusic, a music review website. You should be reviewing recordings and not pieces.

In the words of McLovin, "you don't have the technology or the steady hands to pull off a procedure like that."

Jom
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2008



2596 Comments


Where's the "... so HA!" part? You know you wanted to write it.

taylormemer
July 26th 2008



4887 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I will therefore have to re evaluate every classical review of mine (would be easier to re write them) and place it all in reference to the performer, who is therefore the actual artist, and therefore has their own page. The composer Robert Schumann then has nothing to do with this performance.
So in reality your review for Alexander Scriabin's 'Preparation for the Final Mystery', should not be placed under the composer's page. I have a couple of recordings of that work myself, meaning that If I were to review them I'd put them under different album's for that artist? To me it would be just easier not to review/write/describe classical music at all.
I think you are indeed correct, and what I'm doing is a bit flawed - if there was no rating associated with the review it may seem more justified. I seriously feel like ripping all of my reviews down that aren't necessarily appropriate for the site. Sorry, but I'm just having a bad day.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2008



2596 Comments


I wouldn't worry about one person's opinion, man. Just remember that if you EVER need to read anything about recombinatory techniques in songwriting, DFelon204409 is your go-to guy.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 26th 2008



3995 Comments


So in reality your review for Alexander Scriabin's 'Preparation for the Final Mystery', should not be placed under the composer's page.


Trust me that was a reluctant move on my part. I realized that people are not going to ID that based off of performance and the typical thing on sputnik is to name it by composer and not performer. However, the actual content of the review makes a point to evaluate the piece in terms of the original, the realization, and the performance, knowing that I'm not going to be able to critique Scriabin's manuscripts on sputnik. Regardless of how you name the composer/album, I'd be more concerned that you didn't try to write about the score and say somebody about the performance you're working off of. Performances can be SO SO SO different and drastically change how you feel about a piece.

And Jom if you can mind me a GIF or McLovin doing the backwards peace sign I'll edit that in.

taylormemer
July 26th 2008



4887 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Indeed the performance inevitably determines the feel of the piece, but you must understand that musical composition can be over viewed as I try to do. I hate rating pieces such as these, I'd rather rate the performance, but at the same time, I don't see relevance in reviewing and rating one of a hundred performances of something like this. You can critique the composition, especially if you have the means of accessing the scores, which for older pieces is much, much easier.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 26th 2008



3995 Comments


I'm still not on board with what I know is good and right, but for sputnik is may work fine. I am wary of contemporary fingers meddling with non-contemporary music of all forms. People invariably mess it up somehow.

Poet
July 26th 2008



5910 Comments


Good thing I gave Vivaldi a 5 lol. I had nothing to criticize so I avoided this confusion.



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