- Faschingsschwank aus Wien
"Faschingsschwank aus Wien" ("Carnival Scenes from Vienna" or "Carnival Jest from Vienna") is a solo piano work by
Robert Schumann, his op. 26. Schumann began composition of the work in 1839 in Vienna. He wrote the first four movements in Vienna, and the last on his return to Leipzig.
Eric Sams has noted that the word "Faschingschwank" contains the letters ASCH SCHA in that order of appearance, and that Schumann used these notes in sequence as melodic material for this work. [cite journal | url=http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0080-4452(1969%2F1970)2%3A96%3C103%3ATTAISM%3E2.0.CO%3B2-W | last=Sams | first=Eric | title=The Tonal Analogue in Schumann's Music | journal=Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association | volume=96 | pages=103–117 | date=1969-1970 | accessdate=2008-03-16 | doi=10.1093/jrma/96.1.103] Robert Morgan has noted Schumann's use of
Ludwig van Beethoven's op. 26 as a model in this work, and also Schumann's use of musical symmetry. [cite journal | url=http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0195-6167%2528199821%252920%253A1%253C1%253ASFACT%253E2.0.CO%253B2-%2523 | last=Morgan | first=Robert P. | title=Symmetrical Form and Common-Practice Tonality | journal=Music Theory Spectrum | volume=20 | issue=1 | pages=1–47 | date=Spring 1998 | accessdate=2008-03-16 | doi=10.1525/mts.1998.20.1.02a00010] David Neumeyer has noted the similarity of the first section to the "Valse noble", op. 77, no. 7 (D. 969) of Franz Schubert. [cite journal | url=http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0195-6167%2528199821%252920%253A1%253C1%253ASFACT%253E2.0.CO%253B2-%2523 | last=Neumeyer | first=David | title=The Ascending "Urlinie" | journal=Journal of Music Theory | volume=31 | issue=2 | pages=275–303 | date=Autumn 1987 | accessdate=2008-03-16 | doi=10.2307/843711]
The work is in five movements:
*Allegro (" _de. Sehr Lebhaft") "B-flat Major" One of the longer and more virtuosic movements, this piece is notable for its innovative rhythms and its brief quote of the
Marseillaise. Of all the pieces of "Faschingsschwank", this one is the least single-minded in its structure, introducing entirely new themes occasionally, only to be brought back repeatedly to two repeated motifs from the beginning. The piece comes to a crashing close with almost-dissonant seven-on-three arpeggios.
*Romance (" _de. Ziemlich Langsam") "G Minor"Probably the least virtuosic of the works, taking only a page of music. Despite its shortness and apparent ease, this is undoubtedly the saddest piece in the set. Despite the fact that most of the work is in G minor, the final measure brings a resolution into G major.
*Scherzino"B Flat Major"Exactly as the title suggests, this work is a playful respite between the two somber movements about Schumann's troubled love life. A syncopated rhythm, with a melody based almost entirely on notes of the major chord, keeps the song light and bouncing throughout, with the possible exception of the last run, a progression of octaves into a quick and bright cadence.
*Intermezzo (" _de. Mit Grösster Energie") "E-flat Minor" The Intermezzo is marked by its flowing sound, created by keeping a steady stream of right hand notes in the background, interspersed with melody notes. This piece appears difficult at first due to its speed (some musicologists have remarked that Schumann's metronome was calibrated such that it went faster than it should have, due to extreme tempi such as this one). While the background notes in the right hand do indeed go extremely fast, the melody is much slower. The background notes, fortunately, are mostly suited to the shape and position of the hand, despite a few leaps of the melody. This is also a melancholy and emotionally charged display of a pianist's capability of conveying feeling.
*Finale (" _de. Höchst Lebhaft") "B-flat Major"The Finale begins with triumphant announcements in B Flat octaves, interspersed with brilliant arpeggios. This section is the second longest, lasting only about half the length of the first movement. The patterns seen in the Finale are somewhat reminiscent of a Beethoven piece, with a melody moving in both hands, while both hands also play unchanging notes beneath the melody. The energetic runs of the final bars bring the set to a dramatic close.
*IMSLP2|id=Faschingsschwank_aus_Wien%2C_Op.26_%28Schumann%2C_Robert%29|cname=Faschingsschwank aus Wien
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.