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Robert Schumann - Widmung (from the song cycle Myrten, Op. 25)

By Robert Schumann

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Soprano Voice, Chamber orchestra (ob., cl. in Bb, bsn., horn in F, and strings - va. divisi) - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Robert Schumann. Arranged by Chris Gordon. Romantic Period, Repertoire. Score. 22 pages. Published by Cool Wind Music Digital (S0.204225).

Item Number: S0.204225

This is my orchestration for a small orchestra (oboe, clarinet in B flat, bassoon, horn in F and strings with divided violas) of Robert Schumann's beautiful song of love to his new bride, Klara née Wieck, setting a poem by early Romantic poet, Friedrich Rückert. Schumann composed this song (and the others in his song cycle Myrten, his Op. 25)  soon after their marriage on the 12th September 1840, the day before Klara's 21st birthday . Widmung ('Dedication') is an pure outpouring of Robert's love for Klara. The sentiments expressed in Rückert's poem evidently inspired and 'fired up' Schumann's imagination and passion as the poet speaks of dedicating all of himself, heart, body and soul to his beloved. 'You are my soul, you are my heart, you are my joy, you are my pain…' It is so moving that you feel, in this song, music and text have merged and become one! In my opinion, it is the most poignant and 'felt' love song ever written.

One extraordinarily beautiful moment in this song is the effortless transition (at bar 26) from the middle section’s E major back to the song's predominant A flat major. Schumann glides back into A flat major without a cadence and, on first hearing, you are almost unaware that the music has changed key, so skillfully and imaginatively is it accomplished! There is one further favourite moment: the gorgeous and emotion-heightening 'chromatic slide' upwards at the word 'heaven' (bar 19), as if Schumann is climbing upwards to reach his idea of 'heaven on earth' at the beginning of his joint life-journey with Klara—all in four notes in the bass! Is this not what music should be and can be if we but allow those who know and understand love completely to speak to us? I certainly think so.

The orchestration is a very simple one. It follows Schumann's piano accompaniment more or less faithfully without much addition although I have heightened a few pivotal rhythms which, in a performance, will underline certain key phrases in the voice part (You are my soul!; you are my bliss!) and I have also added a short coda which elaborates the passionate 'singing appegios' which characterise the song and make it so special.

To my mind, this is one of the most perfect of (love) songs ever written. It overflows with love (Robert's love for Klara) and, possibly, for all Humanity.

I have 2 full sets of printed parts to give away to anyone purchasing the score to 'Widmung'. Please contact me at the email address at the bottom of the first page of music. (See the sample pages.)

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