Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In the night

I've been working through Schumann's Fantasiestücke Op. 12. They are a group of very interesting character pieces, short, but not really miniatures as they are quite substantial. My favorite so far is "In der Nacht" (In the Night). It's an interesting change from the blocky style of Schumann that I've been familiar with thus far. The sound rushes up and down and the harmonies are often augmented chords that don't quite resolve, or don't resolve satisfactorily.

Schumann wrote that after he wrote "In der Nacht" he noticed some similarities with the story of Hero and Leander. In Greek mythology Leander is a young man who falls in love with Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, and swims across the strait of Abydos every night to come visit her. You can certainly hear the dark waves and the longing sound, with moments of peace and happiness but none that last for very long.

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