Schumann was the first to set a complete cycle of Heinrich Heine’s poems to music. His literary “forks of lightning” had already fascinated Schumann when he was 17 years old. However, he only wrote opus 24 in 1840, in his “year of song”, choosing to set a cycle of poems from the “Buch der Lieder”. He wrote the following to his fiancée: “Ah, Clara, what bliss it is to write for the voice”. This enthusiasm is reflected in each of the nine songs.
This is Kazuko Ozawa’s third edition of a Schumann cycle to be published in Henle Urtext.
Details/level of difficulty
- Song Cycle op. 24
At the end of 1840 Hector Berlioz, writing from Paris, sent an account of the local musical scene to Germany. His article closes with a declaration of goodwill for Robert Schumann: “While I am writing this, R. Schumann’s songs on poems by H. Heine are lying before me: Heine, whose prose sparkles and strikes like forks of lightning, like an electric battery, and whose poems … more
About the composer
Connected with his oeuvre is the term he coined, Poetic Music, with which he strove for a fusion of literature and music, a paradigm particularly seen in his lyric piano pieces prior to 1839. Thereafter he devoted himself to other genres (song, symphony, chamber music, among others).
|1810||Born in Zwickau on June 8, the son of a bookdealer.|
|from 1828||Studies law in Leipzig, piano with Friedrich Wieck. Decision to pursue a career in music.|
|1830–39||He exclusively composes piano works, mostly cycles, including “Papillons,” Op. 2 (1829–32); “Carnaval,” Op 9 (1834/35); “Davidsbündlertänze,” Op. 6 (1837); “Kinderszenen” (“Scenes from Childhood”), Op. 15 (1837/38); “Kreisleriana,” Op. 16 (1838); “Noveletten,” Op. 21 (1838).|
|1832||A paralysis of a finger in his right hand makes a career as a pianist impossible. Founding in 1833 of the fantasy brotherhood the “Davidsbund” (“League of David”).|
|1835–44||Editor of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal of Music).|
|1840||Marriage to Clara Wieck; 138 songs, including the Eichendorff Liederkreis, Op. 39; the song cycle “Dichterliebe,” Op. 48|
|1841||Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major (“Spring” Symphony), Op. 38, and Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120.|
|1842||Three string quartets, Op. 41; further chamber music.|
|1843||Teacher of composition at the Leipzig Conservatory. Oratorio “Paradise and the Peri,” Op. 50.|
|1845||He settles in Dresden. Journey to Russia.|
|1845||Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61.|
|1850||City music director in Düsseldorf. Premiere in Leipzig of his opera “Genoveva,” Op. 81. Symphony in E-flat major (“Rhenish”), Op. 97; Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129.|
|1853||Beginning of his friendship with Brahms. Completion of the Scenes from Faust. Violin Concerto in D minor for Joseph Joachim.|
|1854||Suicide attempt and admission to the psychiatric institution in Endenich, near Bonn.|
|1856||Death in Endenich on July 29.|
About the authors
Sänger und Begleiterinnen werden frohlocken, denn damit wird einem publizistischen Misstand abgeholfen: Bisher musste man die neun Lieder in zwei verschiedenen … Bänden zusammensuchen. … Man freut sich an der sorgfältigen Platzierung der agogischen und dynamischen Zeichen, der Übersichtlichkeit der verschiedenen Bögen … und der benutzerfreundlichen Heftung der Noten.