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Work

Robert Alexander Schumann

Robert Alexander Schumann Composer

Blumenstück in Db, Op.19

Performances: 25
Tracks: 25
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Musicology:
  • Blumenstück in Db, Op.19
    Key: Db
    Year: 1839
    Genre: Other Keyboard
    Pr. Instrument: Piano
Written in Vienna the year before Schumann's marriage to Clara Wieck, this work was originally titled Guirlande (Garland) by the composer, but he eventually changed it to the arguably more appropriate Blumenstück (Flower Pieces). The work is made up of a series of very short, connected episodes, somewhat in the spirit of Schumann's much larger piano composition, Carnaval, but with each section thematically related.

The work opens with the luminescent main theme, which thrives on its arched contour and animated emotional character, conveying a sense of pulsation in the main line's trajectory as it alternates ascending and descending phrases. While it is short and repetitive as it proceeds, its music develops a sense of tension and never tires the ear. The similarly passionate and lively second episode serves as a refrain and reappears later on. Thereafter the music takes on a stormier character, its emotional pitch rising higher in the middle of the work, especially as the tempo increases for an anxious variant that erupts in a climactic episode in the latter half. Overall, this beautiful six- to seven-minute piece will likely strike the listener as being more about the courtship activities associated with flowers than about the beauty of flowers themselves.

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