Schumann – Dreaming

CD150 4 flutes (4th flute alto ad lib) and bass flute (or clarinet or any bass clef instrument) Grade 4-6 2′ 25″

As a child Schumann learnt the piano and was also interested in books. At the age of eighteen he went to university to study law, but neglected his studies to pursue his interest in music, writing his first published work two years later. He gave many recitals and may have remained primarily a pianist had he not shortly afterwards permanently damaged his hand with a mechanical device he had invented to develop his fingers.

After a tumultuous courtship he married Clara Wieck, but suffered a severe mental breakdown in 1844. His condition gradually deteriorated—as did the quality of his compositions—until he threw himself into the River Rhine. He was rescued, but died two years later.

Schumann wrote four symphonies and other orchestral works as well as numerous piano pieces and songs. Dreaming (Träumerei) is taken from the Scenes of Childhood (Kinderscenen), Opus 15, written for piano in 1838. It is his most popular miniature and this is reflected in the many arrangements that have been made of it.

The deceptively contrapuntal nature of the piece has been exploited in the present arrangement by sharing the musical interest between the parts as much as possible. The first flute goes up to A3 and needs a player of about Grade VI standard. The other parts are around Grade IV-V level, with the main difficulties lying, not in the notes themselves, but in the control needed to play the piece in a way the title suggests.

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