Schumann: Romances

The Romances, Opus 94, date from 1849, one of Schumann’s most productive periods. Originally the Romances were scored for oboe and piano and Schumann was quite opposed to the publication of an alternative version for clarinet. Indeed when Schumann’s publisher, Nikolaus Simrock, wrote to the composer confirming the receipt of the work, he also asked if Schumann would agree to the publication of an alternative title page with the words “for clarinet and piano” as well as the title page proposed by Schumann bearing the words “for oboe and piano”. Schumann promptly replied, “Should I have originally intended the work to be for clarinet and piano it would have been an altogether different piece … I therefore regret to inform you that I cannot agree to your proposal”.
Even so the publisher went ahead and published a version for clarinet as well as one for violin.

When in 1878 Schumann’s entire oeuvre was published by Breitkopf & Härtel under the supervision of Clara Schumann only the alternative version for violin was mentioned. Probably this had to do with the fact that Clara herself performed the piece in Leipzig with a violinist taking the oboe part.

Terra Nova now has the pleasure of making two alternative versions on a single album available for the first time ever. One is the Simrock version referred to above and the other is rather special, as it is a version for viola inspired by the alternative version of the clarinet sonatas on viola by Schumann’s protégé Johannes Brahms.

— From liner notes by Vlad Weverbergh

‘Die drei Musiker vermögen in ihrer Einspielung jene vom Komponisten intendierte wirkung lebendig zu vermitteln. Sie zeigen sich den technischen Anforderungen gewachsen, spielen einfühlsam und im Ausdruck angemessen. Das intime, erzählend-märchenhafte Klangbild, aus dem gelegentlich eine
überaus brillante Passage hervorblitzt, zieht den Zuhöret zweifellos in seinen Bann. Empfehlenswert nicht nur für Freunde Schumann’scher Kammermusik!’

Robert Schumann Gesellschaft

‘The joy and lightheartedness in this recording are unmistakable!’

De Klarinet

‘Very beautiful Schumann’

Crescendo 10/10