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Fantasiestücke Op.73

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Fantasiestücke, Op.73

1. Zart und mit Ausdruck
2. Lebhaft, leicht
3. Rasch und mit Feuer

Schumann composed these tuneful pieces for clarinet and piano in two days of February 1849. Soiréestücke was the horribly bilingual first title but second thoughts happily prevailed. Headed 'tender and with expression', the first of these Fantasy Pieces is in A minor, the piano providing an undulating background from which the clarinet's line emerges. A similar principle is applied in the lively second piece, which is in A major with a middle section in F. It ends with a calming coda. A major is also the key of the fiery third piece, but besides one episode in A minor there are harmonic ambiguities before the quicker coda decisively establishes the major key.

Arrangements of Fantasiestücke for violin and piano or cello and piano were made subsequently and these alternatives are also are frequently performed today.

© Eric Mason

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