Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5959bf8d4d-4p99k Total loading time: 0.432 Render date: 2022-12-09T13:30:50.238Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

7 - Formal Innovation and Virtuosity in Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 November 2021

Joe Davies
Affiliation:
Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford
Get access

Summary

Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17, of 1846 holds a contested place in the nineteenth-century repertory. One of her finest compositional achievements, it was performed regularly throughout the nineteenth century. Yet she herself seems to have led the way for a languishing of its reputation when, upon its publication in 1847, she acknowledged that she ‘did not care for it particularly’ and that, by comparison to Robert Schumann’s Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 63, composed a year later, it now ‘sounded effeminate and sentimental’. This may represent nothing more than an internalization of the widespread belief at this time in women’s inferiority as composers, but her self-doubt cast a long shadow. Clara Schumann’s Trio is usually cited in recent scholarship merely to contextualize Robert Schumann’s Trios (Daverio, 1997; Nemko, 1997), or to exemplify the composer’s capacity for withdrawal into the private musical sphere by way of coping with the emotional and psychological distress with which she was dealing when she composed the piece (Reich, 1985, Rev. 2001; Ferris, 2004).

This chapter considers Schumann’s Trio in relation to a range of contemporaneous piano trios, and through the lens of the New Formenlehre, giving particular emphasis to fugal passages in the opening and closing movements. The striking pianistic virtuosity of this Trio is matched by a compositional virtuosity that significantly enhances our understanding of romantic sonata form. Schumann’s innovations are explored in relation to the Schumannian belief that only through interiority might virtuosity be legitimized and elevated. The chapter concludes with a consideration of Schumann’s Trio as a formal model for later Piano Trios by Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Bedřich Smetana.

Type
Chapter
Information
Clara Schumann Studies , pp. 139 - 164
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×