Hyperion Records

Études symphoniques, Op 13
composer
published as XII Études symphoniques in 1837, then as Études en forme de Variations in 1852 with significant alterations

Recordings
'Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 6 – Schumann' (APR5586)
Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 6 – Schumann
APR5586  Download only  
'Moura Lympany – The HMV Recordings, 1947-1952' (APR6011)
Moura Lympany – The HMV Recordings, 1947-1952
APR6011  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  
'Myra Hess – The complete solo and concerto studio recordings' (APR7504)
Myra Hess – The complete solo and concerto studio recordings
APR7504  5CDs Download only  
'Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings' (APR7501)
Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings
APR7501  5CDs Download only  
'Schumann: Piano Music' (CDA67166)
Schumann: Piano Music
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67166  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Details
No 01: Thema: Andante
Track 8 on CDA67166 [1'45]
Track 37 on APR5586 [1'39] Download only
Track 8 on APR7501 CD3 [1'19] 5CDs Download only
Track 2 on APR6011 CD1 [1'29] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 4 on APR7504 CD5 [1'27] 5CDs Download only
No 02: Variation 1: Un poco più vivo
Track 9 on CDA67166 [1'05]
Track 38 on APR5586 [1'08] Download only
Track 9 on APR7501 CD3 [1'14] 5CDs Download only
Track 3 on APR6011 CD1 [1'23] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 5 on APR7504 CD5 [1'19] 5CDs Download only
No 03: Variation 2
Track 10 on CDA67166 [3'14]
Track 39 on APR5586 [4'05] Download only
Track 10 on APR7501 CD3 [1'44] 5CDs Download only
Track 4 on APR6011 CD1 [1'44] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 6 on APR7504 CD5 [3'37] 5CDs Download only
No 04: Étude 3: Vivace
Track 11 on CDA67166 [1'23]
Track 40 on APR5586 [1'11] Download only
Track 11 on APR7501 CD3 [1'20] 5CDs Download only
Track 5 on APR6011 CD1 [0'56] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 7 on APR7504 CD5 [1'24] 5CDs Download only
No 05: Variation 3
Track 12 on CDA67166 [0'58]
Track 41 on APR5586 [0'47] Download only
Track 12 on APR7501 CD3 [0'45] 5CDs Download only
Track 6 on APR6011 CD1 [0'41] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 8 on APR7504 CD5 [0'57] 5CDs Download only
No 06: Variation 4
Track 13 on CDA67166 [1'05]
Track 42 on APR5586 [1'02] Download only
Track 13 on APR7501 CD3 [1'17] 5CDs Download only
Track 7 on APR6011 CD1 [1'00] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 9 on APR7504 CD5 [1'17] 5CDs Download only
No 07: Variation 5
Track 14 on CDA67166 [0'51]
Track 43 on APR5586 [0'47] Download only
Track 14 on APR7501 CD3 [0'49] 5CDs Download only
Track 8 on APR6011 CD1 [0'55] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 10 on APR7504 CD5 [1'08] 5CDs Download only
No 08: Variation 6: Allegro molto
Track 15 on CDA67166 [1'04]
Track 44 on APR5586 [1'07] Download only
Track 15 on APR7501 CD3 [1'19] 5CDs Download only
Track 9 on APR6011 CD1 [0'44] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 11 on APR7504 CD5 [0'54] 5CDs Download only
No 09: Variation 7
Track 16 on CDA67166 [2'56]
Track 45 on APR5586 [2'47] Download only
Track 16 on APR7501 CD3 [1'45] 5CDs Download only
Track 10 on APR6011 CD1 [1'17] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 12 on APR7504 CD5 [2'19] 5CDs Download only
No 10: Étude 9: Presto possibile
Track 17 on CDA67166 [0'39]
Track 46 on APR5586 [0'34] Download only
Track 17 on APR7501 CD3 [0'43] 5CDs Download only
Track 11 on APR6011 CD1 [0'40] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 13 on APR7504 CD5 [0'45] 5CDs Download only
No 11: Variation 8
Track 18 on CDA67166 [1'13]
Track 47 on APR5586 [1'11] Download only
Track 18 on APR7501 CD3 [0'43] 5CDs Download only
Track 12 on APR6011 CD1 [0'38] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 14 on APR7504 CD5 [1'26] 5CDs Download only
No 12: Variation 9
Track 19 on CDA67166 [2'35]
Track 48 on APR5586 [2'40] Download only
Track 19 on APR7501 CD3 [1'41] 5CDs Download only
Track 13 on APR6011 CD1 [2'05] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 15 on APR7504 CD5 [3'36] 5CDs Download only
No 13: Finale: Allegro brillante
Track 20 on CDA67166 [6'16]
Track 49 on APR5586 [5'45] Download only
Track 20 on APR7501 CD3 [5'54] 5CDs Download only
Track 14 on APR6011 CD1 [6'17] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 16 on APR7504 CD5 [6'41] 5CDs Download only

Études symphoniques, Op 13
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Schumann’s Op 13 is one of a number of his piano works—others include the Impromptus, Op 5, and Davidsbündlertänze, Op 6—that exist in two distinct published versions, the first dating from the 1830s and the second a consequence of a process of revision undertaken in the early 1850s. In the case of Op 13, the original composition took place between December 1834 and January 1835, and the resulting publication of 1837 was entitled XII Etudes symphoniques; the revision, issued by a different publisher in 1852, bore the title Etudes en forme de Variations; it is this version, from which the third and ninth pieces of the original sequence are omitted, and other revisions made, that is recorded here.

Each of the two titles both reveals and suppresses information about the music. The 1852 version acknowledges that the work effectively belongs to the genre of theme and variations, each ‘study’ being a relatively strict variation on the sixteen-bar theme heard at the outset. (Moreover, the individual variations are identified as such, whereas in the 1837 edition the term ‘étude’ is employed, consistent with the overall title.) On the other hand, the reference to ‘symphonic’ quality in the 1837 version acknowledges the frankly orchestral conception of much of the writing, which demands real pianistic virtuosity; to this extent, the designation ‘étude’ is appropriate, in that each étude/variation explores a particular pianistic figuration and thus fulfils Schumann’s demand that an étude should ‘develop technique or lead to the mastery of some particular difficulty’.

An even earlier idea for the title is more revealing still: ‘Etüden im Orchestercharakter … von Florestan und Eusebius’ not only reinforces the understanding of symphonique noted above, but offers a means of understanding the ‘poetic’ content of the music. Evidently Schumann meant to express the contrasting aspects of his own character through the fictive personalities of his two ‘best friends’, as he called them: the active, dynamic Florestan, and the more passive, introspective Eusebius. Whether he initially intended to sign each of the études ‘F’ or ‘E’, as in the first edition of Davidsbündlertänze, is unclear; in any case, neither in 1837 nor in 1852 did Eusebius feature very prominently, despite the ostensibly Eusebian nature of the theme itself, marked ‘Andante’. (That there was originally more of Eusebius in the work is suggested by five further études, omitted from both versions and published posthumously in an edition by Brahms.)

Schumann claimed that the sixteen-bar theme was composed by the Baron von Fricken, father of Ernestine, with whom Schumann had fallen in love during 1834 (the family lived in Asch, the musical translation of the letters of which name provided Schumann with the ‘Sphinxes’ which underpin the music of his Carnaval, Op 9). The études/variations which follow tend to hold fast to the harmonic and melodic structure of the theme, though not to the suppression of all inventiveness: in Variation II, for example, the original melody becomes the bass underpinning of a new soprano line; and Variation VI substitutes E major for C sharp minor, the key of the theme and all other variations except the extended finale, which provides a triumphant major-mode ending and incorporates in its main theme a quotation from the (then) well-known Romance ‘Du stolzes England, freue dich’, from Marschner’s Der Templer und die Jüdin: a subtle homage, perhaps, to the nationality of the dedicatee, Schumann’s friend and fellow-composer William Sterndale Bennett. Prior to the finale, fugato and canonic writing are prominent in Variations I, III, and IV, while Variation VII alludes to the stylistic world of the Baroque, and specifically the French overture.

from notes by Nicholas Marston © 2001

Track-specific metadata
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Details for APR7501 disc 3 track 17
Étude 9: Presto possibile
Artists
ISRC
GB-SAM-11-50317
Duration
0'43
Recording date
28 May 1928
Recording venue
Columbia Records America, USA
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Hyperion usage
  1. Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings (APR7501)
    Disc 3 Track 17
    Release date: February 2011
    5CDs Download only
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