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Herbert Schuch Sehnsuchtswalzer - Schumann / Schubert / Weber / Czerny OC 754 2 CD
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Format2 Audio CD
Ordering NumberOC 754
Barcode4260034867543
labelOehmsClassics
Release date02/06/2010
salesrank2879
Players/ContributorsMusicians Composer
  • Czerny, Carl
  • Schubert, Franz
  • Schumann, Robert
  • Weber, Carl Maria von

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      Sehnsuchtswalzer
      Schumann: Sehnsuchtswalzervariationen, Papillons, Intermezzi op. 4, Carnaval
      Czerny: Variationen op. 12
      Schubert: Walzer und Ländler
      Weber: Aufforderung zum Tanz
      Herbert Schuch, Klavier


      Herbert Schuch’s new CD illuminates the influence of Schubert’s waltzes, ländler and Deutsche Tänze on the romantic and virtuosic piano compositions of the 19th century. Both Schumann and Czerny wrote variations on material from Schubert’s Sehnsuchtswalzer. Czerny’s op. 12 is even entitled “Variations on the beloved Vienna Funeral Waltz by Franz Schubert”. Schumann’s Sehnsuchtswalzervariationen are heard here in the version arranged by Andreas Boyde that is based on the manuscript. Also included on this CD are Schumann’s famous cycles Carnaval and Papillons.

      The Waltz:
      Expression of Longing Herbert Schuch and Marco Frei discuss the concept of this CD


      Mr. Schuch, is Schubert’s Sehnsuchtswalzer a “sad waltz”?
      The designation Trauer-Walzer was the original title that the piece bore when it was published in 1821. According to a report from Joseph Spaun, Schubert was annoyed about this addition, however. But even during Schumann’s time, the term Sehnsuchtswalzer was used just as much. In a review for the Neue Zeitschrift für Music, Schumann wrote in 1836: “First waltzes by Franz Schubert. Small jewels that do not float above the earth higher than a flower would reach, – although I do not like the Sehnsuchtswalzer, which expresses a hundred girlish feelings, nor do I like the last three as they are complete aesthetic errors which I cannot excuse their creator for; – but how the others revolve around it, more or less spin a web around it with airy threads, and how such rapturous carefreeness shimmers through everything that one is carefree as well, so that even while playing the last piece, one believes he is playing the first one again – that is very good.”

      Why didn’t Schumann like the Sehnsuchtswalzer? He even composed several variations on it in 1833.
      He was probably not very happy with these variations, which is why they remained a fragment. On my CD, I use the edition of my colleague Andreas Boyde, who published a playable version of these fragments ten years ago. I did take the liberty of adding a repeat here and there because I had the impression that these pieces – which are titled in one of the three drafts as “scènes mignonnes” – are otherwise too short.

      What fascinated you so much about Schumann’s Variations that you wanted to record them?
      The fact that Schumann created character studies. I find it amazing how many – and how many different – characters he was able to create. One gains insights into Schumann’s creative process. In addition, it is exciting to see how something completely new develops from his abortive attempt to write variations, in that its introduction suddenly becomes the opening to Carnaval. And because Carl Czerny also wrote variations on the Sehnsuchtswalzer, I wanted to pair both of these reflections.

      How did you come across the Sehnsuchtswalzer?
      Through Carnaval. I had always found this piece to be a riddle, and I thus pursued it back to its origins. For me, Carnaval is a type of post-modern work because Schumann pieces together and clearly names things that do not fit each other at all. On the one hand, he portrays real persons of his time (like Chopin); on the other, he includes figures from the commedia dell’arte (like Harlequin) and imaginary ball scenes. The work’s title tries to justify all of this: during carnival season, everything is allowed. It’s a clever move.

      Where do you see parallels to the other works?
      In Papillons as well, Schumann more or less afterwards developed a construction (or did this by association) that enabled him to contextualize elements that do not really fit each other – this time a chapter from Jean Paul’s Flegeljahre. In addition, Papillons and the Intermezzi were written from the same sketchbooks, that is, they are based on the same collection of ideas and material. There are amazing parallels between Papillons and Carnaval with Weber’s Aufforderung zum Tanze, which Schumann had played as a teenager. In Weber’s work, the introduction is surprisingly quoted at the end, as though summarizing the whole piece. In Papillons, the first waltz also returns unexpectedly at the work’s conclusion. In Carnaval, earlier material is used twice. Parts from the introduction are inserted into the Finale, but there are also reminiscences of the Papillons. I think that by using previous material from other pieces, Schumann has tried to create a kind of enigmatic connection, just like his idol Jean Paul, who had once written that he wanted to create one novel from all of his novels. But back to Weber: it is amazing how he anticipates the Chopinesque concertwaltz here: this piece is a wonder to me! At the same time, there are Schubert waltzes in which I have the feeling I’m already listening to Schumann. I was also interested in where Schumann and his idea of the dance come from. In this sense, the second CD must be understood as a sort of supplement.

      Particularly because Schubert’s Deutsche Tänze – at least indirectly – forge a link to the origin of the waltz, seeing as that the German dance is one of its predecessors.
      In Schubert’s autograph of the Sehnsuchtswalzer, this piece is entitled a Ländler; in his own manuscript copy it is a Deutscher and in the printed edition a waltz. I believe that one can decree the use of these terms for different things, but they do overlap. Schubert did not think much of such strict separations – especially because the question of when and where the first waltz emerged can hardly be answered.

      What function does the waltz have in Schumann’s music?
      I think that the waltz gave Schumann a form – an antecedent and a consequent as well as repeats, all of which help create a structure. Schumann had a particularly good hand for this type of thing even though he was not an enthusiastic dancer. The dance didn’t necessarily have this function for him, but it was a good means for him to make a complete statement in a short period of time.

      Also to the semantic fracture between the “I” and the “you”, between a society in which one participates as opposed to a society in which one does not, the outer and inner worlds, integration and disintegration – the Tonio Kröger-like longing to belong?
      Schumann certainly suffered from a lack of acceptance. He was among the first composers to be conscious of the fact that musicians who were in accord with the world were a thing of the past. In the Intermezzi, for example, the dance rhythm has completely exploded! But he also expresses his despair about the world in other works, not only explicitly in those that are in three-four time. And Schubert’s ambiguity as well is not limited to the waltz; it is expressed in every note he wrote. The feeling of no longer standing on normal ground – one sees this element throughout his entire creative life.

      But still, this tension has generally characterized the reception of the waltz – one need only think about Hector Berlioz, Peter Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler or Dmitri Shostakovich. To what extent is this evident on the CD?
      In the sense that on one hand, the recording includes works that served the tastes of their day; on the other, it also contains works that either took the lead during or even rebelled against their times. Generally, however, I like to leave this to the listener’s imagination, especially because all of these levels overlap and to some extent intersect. Certainly, however, in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, it is apparent that the social classes were characterized by dances. And Czerny’s Variations on Schubert’s Sehnsuchtswalzer are of course pure Biedermeier.

      Which puts Czerny in the middle of society?
      I do not hear a single place in his Variations where anything happens that would extend Schubert’s harmonic language. The harmonies are at most brilliantly pepped up. Seen in this light I wouldn’t contradict you: the piece actually did have its place in the middle of society and the tastes of that age. This is why these Variations are not particularly relevant for me today. I recorded them because I find the contrasts between Schumann and Czerny’s Schubert-Variations so “crazy” – in the sense that they are so at odds with each other. In addition, one can still hear the chaos of Schubert’s theme through the bloom of Czerny’s order.

      What does Czerny do with Schubert’s Sehnsuchtswalzer that Schumann does not?
      Schumann does just the opposite of Czerny. For one, his Variations contain no indication that the Schubert waltz should be played in the course of the piece. For another, however, Schumann avoids all virtuosity and explores deep harmonic questions. In contrast, the Czerny Variations follow the common and popular stereotype of the time: a virtuosic introduction followed by the theme, a quick escalation and a brilliant Finale. The work is a series of virtuosic and effective gestures, and the fact that a great pianist is at work here is of course noticeable. Whether Schumann would be annoyed that my CD pairs him with one of the musical enemies he loved to hate most? In 1836 he wrote very spitefully about another work of Czerny’s: “It is impossible to catch up to Mr. Czerny with all critical speed. If I had enemies, I would give them nothing but such music to listen to, in order to annihilate them. The blandness of these Variations is truly remarkable.”
      Translation: Elizabeth Gahbler

      Tracklist hide




      CD 1
      • Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
        variationen über ein thema von Schubert „Sehnsuchtswalzervariationen“ (ed. andreas boyde)
        • 1.Maestoso00:47
        • 2.1. Variation00:43
        • 3.1. Ritornell00:41
        • 4.2. Variation01:14
        • 5.2. Ritornell00:26
        • 6.3. Variation00:31
        • 7.3. Ritornell00:44
        • 8.4. Variation00:53
        • 9.4. Ritornell00:30
        • 10.5. Variation01:07
        • 11.Thema von Franz Schubert: Sehnsuchtswalzer00:56
      • Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
        variationen über ein thema von Schubert „Sehnsuchtswalzervariationen“ (ed. andreas boyde)
        • 1.Maestoso00:47
        • 2.1. Variation00:43
        • 3.1. Ritornell00:41
        • 4.2. Variation01:14
        • 5.2. Ritornell00:26
        • 6.3. Variation00:31
        • 7.3. Ritornell00:44
        • 8.4. Variation00:53
        • 9.4. Ritornell00:30
        • 10.5. Variation01:07
        • 11.Thema von Franz Schubert: Sehnsuchtswalzer00:56
      • Papillons op. 2
        • 12.Introduzione. Moderato00:10
        • 13.Nr. 1 Introduzione. Moderato00:34
        • 14.Nr. 2 Prestissimo00:25
        • 15.Nr. 300:45
        • 16.Nr. 4 Presto00:48
        • 17.Nr. 501:01
        • 18.Nr. 600:49
        • 19.Nr. 7 Semplice01:08
        • 20.Nr. 801:07
        • 21.Nr. 9 Prestissimo00:40
        • 22.Nr. 10 Vivo – Più lento01:49
        • 23.Nr. 1102:51
        • 24.Nr. 12 Finale01:58
      • Papillons op. 2
        • 12.Introduzione. Moderato00:10
        • 13.Nr. 1 Introduzione. Moderato00:34
        • 14.Nr. 2 Prestissimo00:25
        • 15.Nr. 300:45
        • 16.Nr. 4 Presto00:48
        • 17.Nr. 501:01
        • 18.Nr. 600:49
        • 19.Nr. 7 Semplice01:08
        • 20.Nr. 801:07
        • 21.Nr. 9 Prestissimo00:40
        • 22.Nr. 10 Vivo – Più lento01:49
        • 23.Nr. 1102:51
        • 24.Nr. 12 Finale01:58
      • intermezzi op. 4
        • 25.Nr. 1 Allegro quasi maestoso03:25
        • 26.Nr. 2 Presto a capriccio04:00
        • 27.Nr. 3 Allegro marcato03:20
        • 28.Nr. 4 Allegro semplice01:49
        • 29.Nr. 5 Allegro moderato04:15
        • 30.Nr. 6 Allegro03:10
      • intermezzi op. 4
        • 25.Nr. 1 Allegro quasi maestoso03:25
        • 26.Nr. 2 Presto a capriccio04:00
        • 27.Nr. 3 Allegro marcato03:20
        • 28.Nr. 4 Allegro semplice01:49
        • 29.Nr. 5 Allegro moderato04:15
        • 30.Nr. 6 Allegro03:10
      • carnaval op. 9
        • 31.Préambule02:11
        • 32.Pierrot01:56
        • 33.Arlequin00:58
        • 34.Valse noble02:14
        • 35.Eusebius01:52
        • 36.Florestan01:02
        • 37.Coquette01:43
        • 38.Replique00:58
        • 39.Sphinxes01:12
        • 40.Papillons00:41
        • 41.A.S.C.H. – S.C.H.A. (Lettres dansantes)00:54
        • 42.Chiarina01:14
        • 43.Chopin01:10
        • 44.Estrella00:34
        • 45.Reconnaissance01:41
        • 46.Pantalon et Colombine00:56
        • 47.Valse allemande – Paganini – Tempo I ma più vivo02:05
        • 48.Aveu01:12
        • 49.Promenade02:17
        • 50.Pause00:15
        • 51.Marche des “Davidsbündler” contre les Philistins03:52
      • carnaval op. 9
        • 31.Préambule02:11
        • 32.Pierrot01:56
        • 33.Arlequin00:58
        • 34.Valse noble02:14
        • 35.Eusebius01:52
        • 36.Florestan01:02
        • 37.Coquette01:43
        • 38.Replique00:58
        • 39.Sphinxes01:12
        • 40.Papillons00:41
        • 41.A.S.C.H. – S.C.H.A. (Lettres dansantes)00:54
        • 42.Chiarina01:14
        • 43.Chopin01:10
        • 44.Estrella00:34
        • 45.Reconnaissance01:41
        • 46.Pantalon et Colombine00:56
        • 47.Valse allemande – Paganini – Tempo I ma più vivo02:05
        • 48.Aveu01:12
        • 49.Promenade02:17
        • 50.Pause00:15
        • 51.Marche des “Davidsbündler” contre les Philistins03:52
      • Total:02:27:06
      CD 2
      • Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
        • 2.Deutscher Tanz Nr. 15 As-Dur (aus „Deutsche Tänze“ D 783)00:59
        • 3.Ländler Nr. 11 As-Dur (aus „12 Ländler“ D 790)00:56
        • 4.Walzer Nr. 6 As-Dur (aus „Erste Walzer“ D 365)00:42
        • 5.Walzer Nr. 14 Des-Dur (aus „Erste Walzer“ D 365)00:48
        • 6.Walzer Nr. 22 H-Dur (aus „Erste Walzer“ D 365)00:47
        • 7.Ländler Nr. 14 H-Dur (aus „Wiener DamenLändler“ D 73400:57
        • 8.Walzer Nr. 13 A-Dur (aus „Valses sentimentales“ D 77901:07
        • 9.Ländler Nr. 3 D-Dur (aus „12 Ländler“ D 790)00:48
      • Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
        • 2.Deutscher Tanz Nr. 15 As-Dur (aus „Deutsche Tänze“ D 783)00:59
        • 3.Ländler Nr. 11 As-Dur (aus „12 Ländler“ D 790)00:56
        • 4.Walzer Nr. 6 As-Dur (aus „Erste Walzer“ D 365)00:42
        • 5.Walzer Nr. 14 Des-Dur (aus „Erste Walzer“ D 365)00:48
        • 6.Walzer Nr. 22 H-Dur (aus „Erste Walzer“ D 365)00:47
        • 7.Ländler Nr. 14 H-Dur (aus „Wiener DamenLändler“ D 73400:57
        • 8.Walzer Nr. 13 A-Dur (aus „Valses sentimentales“ D 77901:07
        • 9.Ländler Nr. 3 D-Dur (aus „12 Ländler“ D 790)00:48
      • Carl Maria V. Weber (1786–1826)
        • 10.„Aufforderung zum Tanze“ op. 6508:19
      • Carl Maria V. Weber (1786–1826)
        • 10.„Aufforderung zum Tanze“ op. 6508:19
      • Total:43:00