composed 1848/1849 - dedicated to Miss Annette Preusser zugeeignet
Jäger auf der Lauer
Vogel als Prophet
receive here the Waldszenen [Forest Scenes], a long work, much cherished
by me. May it bring you profit, and if not actually a whole forest, then
it will at least add a little tree to a new business.” Schumann wrote
these words to his publisher Bartholf Senff in Leipzig on October 8, 1850.
He had composeded this cycle in Dresden during the time of the Revolution
of 1848. It represented nothing less than an attempt through music to influence
the development of man into a learned, independent, and self-sufficient
individual; an internal revolution of education through music which was
not to be limited solely to pianists. The Waldszenen, op. 82, are a collection
of nine highly differentiated, subtle pieces, to each of which the composer
originally appended a literary motto, though the Friedrich Hebbel quote
would be the only one to be published.
The original motto for “Eintritt” (“Entrance”),
The motto for “Verrufene Stelle” (“Condemned
Places”), No. 4:
The motto for “Vogel als Prophet” (“Bird
as Prophet”), No. 7:
The motto for “Abschied” (“Farewell”),
Robert Schumann was attempting to create an expressive language through simple means. The first piece, “Eintritt” (“Entrance”), is characterized by a simple rhythmic model, but also finely-realized voice-leading that reflects the “travel down the dew-pearled path.” Each single number receives its own inimitable character through different creative means: like the simple counterpoint by which the dissonances are emphasized in “Einsamen Blumen” (“Lonely Flowers”), or the mysteriously quiet, French overture like rhythms of “Verrufene Stelle” (“Condemned Places”).
Translation: William Melton
© Franz Vorraber