Kreisleriana, Op. 16, is a composition in eight movements by Robert Schumann for solo piano, subtitled Phantasien für das Pianoforte. It was written in only four days in April 1838 and a revised version appeared in 1850. The work was dedicated to Frédéric Chopin, but when a copy was sent to the Polish composer, "he commented favorably only on the design of the title page".
Kreisleriana is a very dramatic work and is considered to be one of Schumann's finest compositions.[by whom?] In 1839, soon after publishing it, Schumann called it in a letter "my favourite work," remarking that "The title conveys nothing to any but Germans. Kreisler is one of E. T. A. Hoffmann's creations, an eccentric, wild, and witty conductor." In 1843, when he had moved from writing for solo piano to much larger works, in particular Paradise and the Peri, he still listed it as one of his best piano works.
The work's title was inspired by the character of Johannes Kreisler from works of E. T. A. Hoffmann. Like the kaleidoscopic Kreisler, each number has multiple contrasting sections, resembling the imaginary musician's manic depression, and recalling Schumann's own "Florestan" and "Eusebius," the two characters Schumann used to indicate his own contrasting impulsive and dreamy sides. Johannes Kreisler appears in several books by Hoffmann, including Kater Murr and most notably in the Kreisleriana section of Fantasiestücke in Callots Manier, published in 1814.
Performances & Interviews
- Schumann: Kreislerianahttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01w7tj0.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01w7tj0.jpg2014-03-26T12:03:00.000ZHoward Goodall and Suzy Klein discuss the fourth movement of Schumann's Kreisleriana.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01w7wxf
Schumann: KreislerianaHoward Goodall and Suzy Klein discuss the fourth movement of Schumann's Kreisleriana.
- Schumann: Kreislerianahttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02053rx.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02053rx.jpg2014-06-01T10:47:00.000ZKenneth Hamilton recommends his favourite recording of Schumann's Kreisleriana.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02053ry
Schumann: KreislerianaKenneth Hamilton recommends his favourite recording of Schumann's Kreisleriana.