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Can we imagine that instead of light-hearted, joyful "Jingle Bells" everyone in the world played this song as a gloomy music for the funeral at the speed of a snail? This is exactly what is happening today with lovely Schumann's "Traumerei". It is only performed by everyone at a pace of a funeral march, it is often included in the funeral ceremony, and it even sounds round-the-clock over the memorial of one-and- a- half million soldiers that died in the Second World War's "Stalingrad Battle". But this is not something that is written for us by the composer at all.
Schumann's wife Clara Wieck was a wonderful pianist, judging from the feedback from many of her great contemporaries. Often she joked over Schumann that he seemed and behaved like a child. Those who have read the literary works of Schumann, will most likely agree with her. And there's nothing wrong with: many good people remain to be children until their last days - it had been noticed for long.
In response to these jokes of his famous wife, Schumann wrote "30 easy and amusing (droll) pieces for piano", from which he selected later 13 pieces and titled this compilation "Children's scenes" ("The Kinderszenen"). The "Traumerei" ("Daydreaming") - is just one of these "Easy and Amusing Pieces." Schumann probably meant precisely this feature of his own character. He described these songs as "more CHEERFUL, gentler, more melodic" than his earlier works.
To avoid misrepresentation of "Traumerei", Schumann specially indicated the EXACT TEMPO of performing: "Quarter note = 100 bpm ". Unfortunately, the nowadays' musicians prefer to copy the so-called "interpretation" of any celebrity, rather than to look at the score. Recently I checked all the recordings of "Traumerei" on You-Tube. No pianist has played this song at Schumann's authentic tempo of "100". Usually the tempo was only "50" or lower. At the same time, the most interesting rhythmic structure of this song is usually ignored completely and replaced by the pianist's own improvisation in the style "ad libitum" = "as you like".
And it is not random blunder of several musicians, but a modern "philosophy of performing". The most vivid presentation of this "philosophy" I heard from Mr. Richard Cock. He told me: "What is your Bach in comparison with me? Bach today - it is only a handful of dust in his grave. And I am an acting Principal Conductor of the Radio and TV of South Africa. Your Bach can not correct me, but I can correct Bach in any way I want."
With this my recording of "Traumerei" in the Schumann's authentic tempo I invite all the musicians to perform this song as it was written by the composer.
I hope that among modern virtuoso pianists there should still be those who are able to record this most famous Schumann's song at the genuine tempo and with the authentic rhythm instead of the usual rhythmic disorder in every measure of this great music.
I hope sincerely that my "record at authentic tempo" will not be the only one in the world for a long time.
I would be grateful for the links to these new recordings.
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