Fairy Tales op. 132 SCHUMANN ROBERT
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The Fairy-Tale Narratives (Märchenerzählungen) for B-flat Clarinet (ad libitum Violin), Viola and Piano, Op. 132, belong to the few Schumann works that were composed, revised and published in a short time: composed in Düsseldorf, at beginning of October 1853, the new composition was already offered for publication to the Breitkopf & Härtel publishing house on 3 November and printed in February 1854.
Composition and publication of the Märchenerzählungen were accompanied, though, by difficult times, the final days before the composer was admitted to the psychiatric clinic in Endenich. The work’s reception lies in the shadow of the last creative period: The pieces were associated with his life’s darker phases and were very little played.
The Märchenerzählungen transmit Schumann’s single work for this unusual piano trio with viola and clarinet. The only well-known earlier example in this setting at that time is Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” Trio K 498 (composed in 1786). Schumann was certainly already acquainted with the work from his Leipzig years – it was played in one of the “quartet sessions” in 1829.