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My Beef regarding Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahm's music (Part 1)

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Disclaimer: This is only my opinion. Air and Polednice, remember, I like you both!


People always told me I am close-minded. They mentioned, that once I set my mind into a ''certain thing'', it is hard to change it a bit. My sister in particular, told me ''(insert my name here), you suck!''. I can't say I agree with her, because I think, she (a brat) sucks more than I.

(Where am I?)

The first time I heard the music of Robert ''Bobby'' Schumann (as Air would call him), I was flabbergasted. Not in the way, I was amazed or enlightened, rather, Schumann's music (to my ears) is pretty dull and bland. My first experience with Schumann was like watching a new planted wheat grass, goes green.
Schumann's music never moved me. Unlike Beethoven, Schubert or Bach which give tingles in my spine, Schumann's music seems ''ordinary''. Especially, Schubert who give me goosebumps...

Schumann, the Superman

"That guy must be really crazy'', I remarked after reading the biography of Schumann. For what Schumann's music worth to me, I admired Schumann for one thing. He is a very talented music critic and a great storyteller.

Here's why:

So a Schubert symphony laid in dust for almost 10 years. Schumann, in passing, visited the graves of Beethoven and Schubert, and Schumann's have this bright idea of visiting Franz's brother, Ferdinand.

Ferdinand, who is not taller than Franz (5ft, 1inch, little mushroom!), showed some of Schubert's old manuscripts. Schumann, in particular was interested in a symphony whose ''heavenly length'' intrigued him. (''WTF'', must be Schumann's words after discovering the symphony'') He poached the manuscript to Ferdinand hands (writing to Clara to that he was very excited), gave it to Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn, with his curly hair, premiered the whole symphony and Schumann, lavished praises to the ''great'' symphony, which he labeled ''as the greatest instrumental work after the death of Beethoven''. The symphony garnered mixed reaction from the audience and critics alike, but it was accepted in the repertoire over the years (let's thank Bruckner symphonies for that!). Toward his life, as Schumann career flourished, he championed Schubert works in his writings. For that alone, I would kiss Schumann's feet.


Like I said, I never did enjoy Schumann's music. Here's my roasted beefs:

For the record, I adore the Piano concerto, which is gorgeous.

1. Symphonies 2, 3, 4 (Schumann! An orchestra is not a piano. Ok?)

2. String quartets (dull and lifeless)

3. Piano quintet (I'd like some Trout, mama)

4. Piano quartet (no comment)

5. Dichterliebe (a Winterriese wannabe)

A light at the end of a tunnel shines through

Fortunately, Air told me I was seeing Schumann's music in wrong way. It should be green, not blue. He recommend some miniature piano pieces such as the Kinderszen/Carnaval etc.. I can't say I enjoyed it more enough than the Impromptus, but they were good enough in casual listening. I think I need to listen to Schumann's music more..

Brahms should be next..

To be continued...