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Schumann Bunte Blätter 6

I’m just back today from a wonderful, wonderful trip to NYC and New Haven, CT, which was a reminder of just how wonderful family and friendship are. And although I’m really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed (I’ve been up since 5:20 AM Minnesota time), I did manage to edit and master tonight something I’d recorded beforehand for you.

Bunte Blätter No 6
Paul Cantrell, piano

As I mentioned last week, I’m working on a set of short pieces, and in that set, I’m thinking constantly of Schumann. He wrote many sets of short pieces like Bunte Blätter (the title simply means “colored leaves"), with sudden shifts in mood and odd contrasts between pieces that ought to make the whole set seem disconnected and nonsensical, but instead make perfect intuitive sense and create a pleasing unity of contradictions. To me, they’re more like late Beatles albums than typical mid-1800s suites. I’ve been reading through Schumann lately, searching for the secret of unity in contradiction, and this recording comes from that effort.

Today’s piece is just one from such a set, of course, so I guess it’s hard to judge that previous paragraph unless you already know Schumann. Well, perhaps I’ll record some more, and then you can all quibble with my Beatles comparison. (Or if you do already know all about Schumann, you can get your quibble on right now! That’s what the comments are for.)