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Review

 A Celebration of Love, Nature, and German Lied with 92Y

Both Schumann and Beethoven are masters at the form particularly in their use of text painting, which is the practice of further emphasizing the emotional state of the character through harmonic and rhythmic material played on the piano.  One particularly notable example is in Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben in the third piece “Ich kann’s nicht fassen.”  The piece begins with the soprano singing “I cannot grasp it, believe it; / A dream has beguiled me,” while the pianist is playing short, frantic, staccato minor chords.  Instantly, we know, though it has not yet been said, that the character is agitated and perhaps frightened by this beguiling dream due to the setting of the voice and the piano.  

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July 2020
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