Schumann - Letzter Gedanke: Late Piano Works | Herisson LH14

Schumann - Letzter Gedanke: Late Piano Works


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Label: Herisson

Cat No: LH14

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 24th June 2016



Robert Schumann is one of a number of 19th century artists whose creativity was dogged by mental illness. Others included Hölderlin, Nerval, Maupassant, Nietzsche, Wolf... In the case of Schumann, the works he wrote at the end of his life have particularly suffered from being seen solely through this prism, which has only served to cloud perceptions of them. Madness in no way helps us understand Schumann’s late style. On the contrary, it creates a barrier to understanding by focusing our attention on biographical considerations to the detriment of the works themselves. The problem is that it was not Schuman the composer who was mad, but Schumann the man.

For Schumann, 1845 was the year of Fugenpassion. He became passionately interested in counterpoint, resulting in a new language: Schumann’s late style. The late style of great composers has always provoked ambivalent reactions, between fascination and incomprehension. In the case of Schumann, his late style has only been re-evaluated very recently. What are its characteristics? The implacable logic of counterpoint, disdain for convention, the perfume of eternity and retreat from the world... The style had no real immediate heirs. Rather than Brahms, it is in Bill Evans that certain of his harmonies can be detected...

Piano by C.J. Gebauhr, c.1850

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