Robert Machumann Op 17 Analysis

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In 1839, Breitkopf & Härtel published Robert Schumann’s Fantasie in C major, Op. 17. Schumann conceived the piece in early 1836. The first iteration of Op. 17 was a one movement piece titled Ruines. Ruines was Schumann’s cathartic expression of the fatigue of separation from his love, Clara Wieck. After several alterations of the piece--in the effort to raise funds for a monument to Beethoven--Schumann expanded Ruines to three movements, mulled over a series of titles, and ultimately settled on the name Fantasie. At one point Schumann considered the first movement his “highest achievement,” though a year after publication--in a letter to Hirschbach--Schumann wrote he “grew critical” of the piece. Contemporary scholars debate a wide range of topics ranging from the purpose of Fantasie to the formal structures of the movements.
Fantasie in C major, Op. 17, encapsulates Schumann’s values. Opus 17 is an artistic statement: through structural form Schumann challenges the rigidity of traditional structures. However, he demonstrates reverence for the progenitating composers through experimentation. Further, Fantasie expresses Schumann’s romance with Clara. Schumann’s yearning pervades the first movement. The lyricism within Fantasie culminates from the influence of both the musician and romantic within Schumann.
Contemporary debate
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98. At the end of the first movement, Schumann presents a quotation which he had never publically acknowledged. One must understand that the “subject of Beethoven’s cycle is of course the ‘distant beloved,’ and in the last song the poet suggests that by singing” the distance between his beloved will lessen between them. Considering the context of Clara and Robert’s separation, “unable to take comfort even from an occasional exchange of letters,” the quotation of “Take them then, these songs” becomes an act of forlorn

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