Schumann: Kinderszenen

First edition title page
 

Scenes from Childhood

Kinderszenen (German pronunciation: [ˈkɪndɐˌst͡seːnən]; original spelling Kinderscenen, “Scenes from Childhood”), Opus 15, by Robert Schumann, is a set of thirteen pieces of music for piano written in 1838. In this work, Schumann provides us with his adult reminiscences of childhood. Schumann had originally written 30 movements for this work, but chose 13 for the final version.  Robert Polansky has discussed the unused movements.

Nr. 7, Träumerei, is one of Schumann’s best known pieces; it was the title of a 1944 German biographical film on Robert Schumann.  Träumerei is also the opening and closing musical theme in the 1947 Hollywood film Song of Love, starring Katharine Hepburn as Clara Wieck Schumann.

Schumann had originally labeled this work Leichte Stücke (Easy Pieces). Likewise, the section titles were only added after the completion of the music, and Schumann described the titles as “nothing more than delicate hints for execution and interpretation”. Timothy Taylor has discussed Schumann’s choice of titles for this work in the context of the changing situation of music in 19th century culture and economics.

In 1974, Eric Sams noted that there was no known complete manuscript of Kinderszenen.

Movements

Movements
Title Key Play
01. Von fremden Ländern und Menschen
00. Of Foreign Lands and Peoples
G major

02. Kuriose Geschichte
00. A Curious Story
D major

03. Hasche-Mann
00. Blind Man’s Bluff
B minor

04. Bittendes Kind
00. Pleading Child
D major

05. Glückes genug
00. Happy Enough
D major

06. Wichtige Begebenheit
00. An Important Event
A major

07. Träumerei
00. Dreaming
F major

08. Am Kamin
00. At the Fireside
F major

09. Ritter vom Steckenpferd
00. Knight of the Hobbyhorse
C major

10. Fast zu ernst
00. Almost Too Serious
G-sharp minor

11. Fürchtenmachen
00. Frightening
E minor

12. Kind im Einschlummern
00. Child Falling Asleep
E minor

13. Der Dichter spricht
00. The Poet Speaks
G major

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