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Kreisleriana op.16

For an extensive paper on the "Kreisleriana" by Koji Attwood click here.

This 1838 composition was inspired by Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler, the eccentric, antisocial and ingenious conductor created by E.T.A. Hoffmann. It was Schumann's intention to recreate this fictitious character in music. “Kreisleriana”, a set of eight fantastical, seemingly improvised pieces, describes the different facets of Johannes Kreislers madness. Robert Schumann initially composed the works in the time span of only four days.

Some say that E.T.A. Hoffmann modeled Johannes Kreisler after himself, "freed from the shackles of society by the 'madness' of music". Schumann's inspiration to compose "Kreisleriana" may find its origin in the fact that his own problems with society were many as well. 

In april 1838 Schumann sent a letter to his future bride Clara Wieck, writing her that she would recognise herself in this work. The deeper meaning of this statement, if any, is not known. The obvious explanation is that seven out of eight movements in "Kreisleriana" are built around a simple theme that she composed. Schumann has sampled her compositions more than once. For instance his "Davidsbündlertänze" op.6 - composed in 1834 - 1836, also based on fictional characters - starts with the first two bars of her Mazurka op.6 no.5.

- Joffrey Wallaart


Complete recording by Andrew Sheffield

Schumann - Kreisleriana, Op16 (1838)
Recorded live in 2009
1 Aeusserst bewegt 02:36
2 Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch 08:31
3 Sehr aufgeregt 03:47
4 Sehr langsam 03:59
5 Sehr lebhaft 03:40
6 Sehr langsam 04:55
7 Sehr rasch 02:32
8 Schnell und spielend 04:11


2 Sehr innig und nich zu rasch 10:23 Amoretti, A.
Jan 7, 2016
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