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Schumann, Clara (née Wieck) (1819-1896)

Caprices en Forme de Valses

SKU:FE008-EN

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General Information

Composer: Clara Schumann née Wieck

Title of the Publication: Caprices en Forme de Valses

Opus: 2

Composition Year: 1831

Edition Type: Urtext

Edition Number: FE008

Editor: Martijn Vromans

Languages of the Text: English, German, French, and Spanish

Paper: A4 Clairefontaine 120 gsm cream paper

Binding: Black steel wire binding

Pages/Format: Total 24 pages (1 full colour portrait, 3 pages introduction, 1 page critical commentary, 17 pages music)

Weight: 125 g

Difficulty Level: 6–7/10

Also Included In:

  • FD008 (download)
  • FE007 (anthology)
  • FD007 (anthology download)

Description

These caprices were written by Clara Schumann when she was 12 years old. Every caprice is in 3/4 time, yet they are not waltzes in the traditional, dance-oriented manner. The danceable quality seems almost coincidental in a broader narrative arrangement: a finished cycle of 9 individual caprices, unified stylistically by the three-quarter measure. From this work forward, the signature pastel hues of Clara Schumann are present.

The first Caprice, a sparkling waltz characterized by inviting playfulness and vibrancy, serves as the opening. The cyclical composition further contains a rich variety of subtle emotions. For a 12-year-old, the introspective depth is notable, in addition to the somewhat mysterious character of the slower sections. Playful vivacity and reflection alternate with each other.

About the Music

Beyond Childhood Genius: Clara Schumann’s Caprices en Forme de Valses, Opus 2, are the expression of a child prodigy, but offer an unexpectedly striking musical experience. Written when she was just 11 years old, the Caprices serve as a splendid illustration of her remarkable skill and innovative spirit.

Reinventing the Waltz: This piece lifts the conventional, dance-oriented waltz to a new height, preceding Chopin’s similar advancements. It embodies a work of significant musical depth. Combining two classical forms, the caprice and the waltz, produces a novel and distinctive unity. The outcome is a suite of nine compositions, which, notwithstanding their distinct allure, collectively constitute a cohesive and identifiable musical story.

Narrative Depth: Schumann employs musical motifs to create narrative depth and a distinctive atmosphere. Every work carries its own atmosphere and expression, varying from energetic, to frolicsome and nimble, to profound and reflective. This creates a richly variegated palette of emotions and images. It is particularly notable that the work begins in a highly lively and energetic fashion, yet closes with introspection.

About the Composer

Even in the 19th century, a period brimming with some of the greatest pianists to ever grace the stage, Clara Schumann stands uniquely tall as perhaps the foremost among them. Often merely cast as the muse of her husband, Robert Schumann, she delivered unparalleled achievements, not just as a trailblazing pianist but also as a composer. From the moment she published her Opus 2 at the very early age of 12, she began to leave behind a compositional legacy. These works, while early, are by no means immature: they are the creations of a fully-fledged composer, marked by a remarkable emotional richness and playful virtuosity.

Contents

  • Portrait
  • Introduction (English, German, French or Spanish)
  • Caprices en Forme de Valses, Op. 2
  • Critical Commentary (English, German, French or Spanish)
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  • Premium Editions

    Our paper editions are pleasing to the eye: gorgeous and heavy cream paper produced in an environmentally friendly manner. We print our albums ourselves and use pigmented ink instead of toner. Due to the ink soaking into the paper, a beautiful print is created. All our albums are bound with a steel binding spine, so the albums last a long time and stand perfectly flat on the piano.