All posts by mtsurusaki

Schumann Piano Quintet in Es Op.44

Schumann Piano Quintet in E flat major Op.44

Before Schumann wrote this piano quintet, Schubert and Hummel composed piano quintets for Violin, Viola, Cello, Contrabass and Piano. Those quintets would be written for salon music. After Schumann’s success on this new Piano Quintet by string quartet + piano, many composers found the high potential of this new style. Major works by this style were written by Brahms, Dvorak, Franck, and Faure.



When Robert and Clara Schumann visited Bremen and Ortenburg in February, 1842 for their concert tour. Throughout the tour it was not unbearable for Robert that Clara was always highly applauded but he was not so much. He was uncomfortable with the situation and decided to part with Clara and returned Leipzig alone on March 12. Then he had fallen into a deep depression until Clara came back on April 24. Also there was a rumor that Wiek Schumann, Clara’s father had been trying to separate them.During this time he had drowned in beer and champagne, but he also studied ardently counterpoints and string quartets of the classic era.

When Clara came back home, Robert became very happy and he started the year of chamber music. He composed 3 string quartets, Piano Quintet Op.44, and Piano Quartet in 1942. Piano Quintet Op.44 was worked from September 23, 1842 and completed on October 12.


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Faure Piano Quintet No.2 – General

Faure’s Piano Quartets and Piano Quintes and Other Major Piano Quintets




First Performance


Piano Quintet Op.44




Piano Quintet Op.34




Piano Quartet No.1 Op.15




Piano Quintet f-moll




Piano Quartet No.2 Op.45




Piano Quintet Op.81




Piano Quintet No.1 Op.89

1887-95, 1903-05



Piano Quartet No.2 Op.115



Music sources:

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Score Reading I

This is an article for Admaestro users and general users who want to learn music a little more serious.
To study and interpret music , it is essential to read scores because they are only tangible materials that  composers can express their music.
Please get a miniature score of Eine kleinenacht Musik by Mozart. You can get one from your music dealers or you can down load it from IMSLP site on lime. When you use the digital score, print out a hard copy otherwise you would not be in time for turning pages.

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Franck Violin Sonata 4th Movement

4th Movement: Allegretto poco mosso

Sonata Form:
Primary theme is written by canon. The theme flows very smooth and natural. There is no characteristic skips which associates M1. The theme may leave off M1 consciously which have been provided various expressions. M4 in Fig.1 is frequently used in the development section楽
Fig.1 Mes.1


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Franck Violin Sonata 3rd Movement

Third Movement: Recitativo – Fantasia

Introduction by piano presents the following 4 measure phrase.
Fig.1 Mes.1

This phrase is extracted from the first movement M1, but the character of this phrase resembles the one from measure 59 of the first movement. It sounds unfriendly, and suggesting some depressing feelings. Then a recitativo by violin follows.

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Franck Violin Sonata – Interpretation

When I was still in my twenties, I heard the problem of Franck’s Violin sonata. The feeling of the first 3 movements is quite different from that of 4th movement in spite of his cyclic form to achieve uniformity. I felt maybe so, because I agreed the difference of the feeling, but I didn’t think it a problem.

But this problem dragged for many years. One day when I was reading a book about the Borgia family, I got an idea of literary interpretation for the problem from scandalous rumors about Lucrezia Borgia. I want to make it clear that my literary interpretation has no relations with Franck and/or Yseye. I’ll write my literary one later, and I l write here a usual musical interpretation first.

Form of the 1st movement is A-A’, However, It would be suitable to understand this movement as  sonata form without a development section since the first theme is meticulously worked on the basic motive M1, and second theme is also carefully set as we usually see in sonata form.

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Franck Violin Sonata 4th Movement Theme

I went a concert by Leonid Gorokhov and Sachiko Hanano on March 1, and had a chance to talk to him after the concert. I asked about his phrasing of the opening melody of the 4th movement

The below is Violin Version


Usually this beautiful melody starts flat and quiet with beautiful tone. Players generally try to emphasize the beauty of this melody with fine vibrato. It is reasonable to make some decrescendo for the first 4 notes: h'-cis"-a'-gis'- fis' because it is flowing into e’.

It was my surprise that Mr. Gorokhov played above 4 notes as if there were a clear indication by the composer.
In reply to my question, he said, “As the melody of piano comes first, so I though the first few notes are enough to show we are playing a canon.”

It was impressive for me that he considers the style first, and has got to a fresh expression.
He also played Bach Cello Suite No.2 by Anna Magdalena version in the concert. It was excellent.

Do you know where you are while playing?

Have you ever thought about “where am I?  What am I doing?” while you are playing music?

When your conductor starts the music, don’t you think “if music comes to the end, it is over.”
If the music is short enough, your memory tells you that next page has the ending. But if the music is very long, don’t you say in mind, “how many more pages shall I turn?”

It is always important to know where you are and what you are doing even in the music world. I would like to explain the importance by an example of sonata style.

Classical standard sonatas comprise Exposition, Development, Recapture and Coda.
You can easily find the end of Exposition because it has a repeat mark at its end. So, Development starts after the repeat mark. You can find the beginning of Recapture since the Recapture is exactly same as Exposition. And the end of recapture is almost the same as Exposition. Therefore, it is not difficult to know where you are in the music structure.

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