Love is in the air, catch it if you can! Schamann wrote these six pieces for his wife Clara, and they are filled with joy and more than a hint of Bach.

Schumann excelled at miniatures. He also revered Johann Sebastian Bach, and in the spring of 1845 he and Clara were engrossed in the study of fugue. They had just moved to Dresden, where Robert was taking up the position as conductor of the Dresden orchestra; and the first thing they acquired for their new home was a pedal piano – an instrument with an extra row of pedals for playing bass notes, the closest thing you could get to an organ at home. It was wildly popular during that nineteenth-century craze for the organ and for playing symphonies and concertos in piano reduction. Robert was also teaching Clara counterpoint, and wrote this delightful little cycle of pieces for her.

They’ve been arranged for many instruments – this version for piano trio was made by Theodor Kirchner, one of Schumann’s students during his brief tenure at the Leipzig Conservatory.

Programme notes by Charlotte Wilson

Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97 is part of our 2022 LEGACY 1 programme.

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