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Gieseking plays Schumann Davidsbündlertänze (3/4)

Robert Schumann (1810-1856): Davidsbündlertänze, opus 6 Walter Gieseking, piano Recorded in 1942. Part III, No. 13-16 “Davidsbündlertänze (Dances of the League of David), op. 6, is a group of eighteen pieces for solo piano composed by Robert Schumann in 1837. Schumann named them after the imaginary Davidsbündler. The pieces are not true dances, but are characteristic pieces, musical dialogues about contemporary music between Schumann’s characters Florestan and Eusebius. These respectively represent the impetuous and the lyrical, poetic sides of Schumann’s nature. Each piece is ascribed to one or both of them. Their names follow the first piece and the appropriate initial or initials follow each of the others except the sixteenth (which leads directly into the seventeenth, the ascription for which applies to both) and the ninth and eighteenth, which are respectively preceded by the following remarks: “Here Florestan made an end, and his lips quivered painfully” and “Quite superfluously Eusebius remarked as follows: but all the time great bliss spoke from his eyes.” In the second edition of the work, Schumann removed these ascriptions and remarks and the “tänze” from the title, as well as making various alterations, including the addition of some repeats. The first edition is generally favored, though some readings from the second are often used. The suite ends with the striking of twelve low C’s to signify the coming of midnight and the end of festivities. Peter Kaminsky

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