Tablet - Portrait

Tablet - Landscape


Robert Schumann

This is the concluding work in Schumann's popular set of 13 pieces about children, Kinderszenen (Scenes From Childhood). They are, of course, popular among adults and have been performed and recorded by the world's leading pianists. Actually, Schumann really aimed the works at adult audiences, knowing well that good "children's music" would have broad appeal. But two or three pieces in the set are rather "adult," or quite serious anyway, foremost among them being the tenth, "Fast zu Ernst" (Almost Too Serious) and this one, Der Dichter Spricht (The Poet Speaks). Both are slow and somewhat ponderous, though their writing is rather thinly textured and relatively uncomplicated. The Poet Speaks begins with an attractive gentle theme, mostly in chords, whose glacial pacing and skeletal writing impart a somber character. The melody is lovely and serene and conveys the child's maturing sense. In the middle section, the theme takes on a somewhat more songful, flowing manner, but then returns to the slower, more dignified character of the opening. At slightly over two minutes, this is one of the longer pieces in this set of charming miniatures.