A highly-talented writer and musician, Robert Schumann (1810-1856) embodied many of the attributes of the Romantic Era. His prodigious talents were often coupled with notable vacillations between his emotional highs and lows; this personal instability had a profound impact upon his life, and very much shaped his musical compositions.
Kreisleriana was written in 1838, with the title inspired by author E.A. Hoffmann’s famous literary character, the eccentric genius conductor Johannes Kreisler. This time in Schumann’s life was an especially stressful one, with his long desired marriage to Clara Weick still unfulfilled (they later married in 1840) due to her father’s objections. Perhaps as a result of this continuing personal angst, Schumann’s compositions of this time were increasingly experimental and complex. Even progessive musicians such as Franz Liszt were often perplexed by some aspects of Schumann’s musical forms, structures, and the overt emotional content in works of this time. Kreisleriana’s eight movements are relatively unpredictable and swing violently between calmness and anger, lyricalness and agitation, foreboding and elation. This arrangement of the seventh movement, “sehr rasche” (very quick), was designed for soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone, and piano, for the Covert Ensemble (Dave Camwell, Katerina Pavlikova and Tingting Yao). The use of alternate saxophones is possible, if desired. Duration: approximately 1.5 minutes.
A video performance of this music is available on YouTube
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