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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000203.txt from 1996/04

From: Jonathan Cohler <cohler@-----.NET>
Subj: Re: Schumann Fantasy
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 1996 16:44:13 -0400

At 3:40 PM 4/8/96, FTP96@-----.COM wrote:
> Does anyone know of any scholarship on the subject of the Schumann
>Fantasty Pieces. I'm referring specifically to the second one. The clarinet
>plays the theme in quarter & eighth notes, but when the piano plays this
>material, it is in a triplet rhythm. This has always seemed odd to me. It
>doesn't seem quite right to have the tune sound different from one voice to
>the other. Is there some performance practice in Schumann's piano music that
>would allow for the rhythm to be changed to conform to the clarinet? (this is
>probably one for a piano list) Should the rhythm be played literally? I
>would appreciate your input.

Whenever there is double-stemming in the score, where the first and third
note of the triplet are stem up and the entire triplet is also stem down,
this was Schumann's shorthand for playing the first and third note as a
duple while placing the second note of the triplet as the second note of a

If you look through the score you will see several other spots where the
duple note is not that same note as the third note of the triplet, and in
these cases he has clearly marked it as a duple eighth note.

The double stem notation is much simpler and less cumbersome than would be
the explicit notation of a triplet eighth note followed by a sextuplet
sixteenth note followed by a dotted triplet eighth note.

So the answer is, whereever the double stemming occurs, those notes should
be played as even eighth notes. (By the way, this is not only in the
second piece, and it is not only in these Fantasy Pieces, it occurs in many
Schumann scores.)

Jonathan Cohler

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