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Schumann: Abendlied for Piano Quartet

By Robert Schumann

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Piano Quartet - Early Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Robert Schumann. Arranged by James M. Guthrie, ASCAP. Romantic Period, Repertoire, General Instructional, Anniversary, Recital. Score, Set of Parts. 9 pages. Published by jmsgu3 (S0.316757).

Item Number: S0.316757

Op. 85/12 Piano Quartet: Abendlied (Evening Song) by Robert Schumann Op. 85, No. 12. Duration: 3:10 Score: 3 pg. 29 ms. common time. Lento – quarter note = 40. Piano part: 2 pg. solo parts 1 pg.

Schumann Background

Robert Schumann (1810 –1856) was a German composer and, moreover, a music critic. Music historians, as well as critics, generally agree that he is one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. In the first place, Schumann was studying to become a lawyer. He quit law school, however, to pursue a career as a concert pianist. Be that as it may, he injured his hand and ruined any chance of success as a virtuoso pianist. As a result, Schumann turned his musical attention to composing.

The Beginning of the End

In 1848, Robert Schumann was in fact only 38 years old. Nevertheless, he was already weakening as a composer and conductor.  His productivity, on the whole, was slowing down. Furthermore, his conducting job at one of the world’s oldest orchestras had come under great criticism.

Last Period

Schumann became inspired by the death of his friend Felix Mendelssohn the year before. Similarly, he was stimulated by the Revolutions of 1848, and consequently composed some of his most substantive works.  It was during this last period of inspiration that he wrote his Scenes from Faust. Furthermore, he finished the Requiem for Mignon and the Introduction and Allegro for Piano & Orchestra.  Next, he composed Scenes from the Forest for piano. Finally, he composed the Twelve Four-hand Piano Works for Small & Large Children, Op. 85. This collection turns out, in summary, to be Schumann’s last great collection of piano literature.


The final movement (Op.85/12) of this great collection on balance is entitled Abendlied or Evening Song. It is, in essence, a very effective recital encore especially following a more aggressive or fast-paced piece. This is, in either case, a chance to develop long rubato phrases and demonstrate your musical sensitivity. This music, for the most part, sets a quiet, mysterious, and somewhat melancholy mood reminiscent of evening-time just after sunset when the shadows become long and the sky begins to darken.



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