Schumann, Robert


Schumann, Robert

Vom Pagen und der Königstochter Op. 140 for soli, choir and orchestra (after Emanuel Geibel)

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Schumann, Robert
Vom Pagen und der Königstochter Op. 140 for soli, choir and orchestra
(after Emanuel Geibel)

Vom Pagen und der Königstochter, Opus 140, a setting of poetry «edited and arranged» from Emanuel Geibel by Schumann himself, is the third of four choral ballads written in 1851 and 1852. As such, it belongs to the last creative period of Schumann’s life, one which was focused almost exclusively on choral music. While most of the late choral pieces are essentially dramatic in nature, this final period also contains the two rare instances of explicitly liturgical, rather than more usual romantic secular poetical text sources: the Mass, Opus 147, and the Requiem, Opus 148, both from 1852. Schumann’s last dozen works continue the lifelong characteristic pattern of major outcroppings of groups of similar pieces.

Schumann’s orchestral output, excluding choral works, is small. Aside from the four completed symphonies, and small handful of concerted works, virtually all of Schumann’s orchestral focus falls to music with chorus, or opera. Schumann’s lifelong pursuit of viable opera subjects and projects produced several stand alone overtures (Julius Caesar, Hermann und Dorothea, Braut von Messilina) – but none of the intended operas for which they were conceived were ever completed, or written to any extent. Schumann was quick to grasp potential ideas, even to the extent of sketching out or completing studies for possible works «to follow» only to be distracted either by other, much more short range or short scoped projects, or by a certain impatience with the inability either to produce or acquire worthwhile dramatic material.

It is interesting to note that even as Schumann himself engaged in literary pursuits (as is evidenced, for example, by his founding and editing of the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik [1834]) and, by definition, intimately bound up in the search for what could be called a real, literary but thoroughly German opera, he lacked the ability to create the necessary literary vehicles for his own artistic purposes. In this sense, although he initially did not particularly appreciate, or even understand his colleague Richard Wagner, he did eventually develop a healthy respect both for Wagner’s ability to compose his own libretti as well as for his musical innovations in the realm of German national theater and opera…


Read full preface / Komplettes Vorwort > HERE

Score Data


Choir/Voice & Orchestra


160 x 240 mm





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