Acclaimed pianist Martha Argerich and violinist Mischa Maisky perform Schubert's Sonata for Arpeggione and Schumann's Fantasiestucke Op. 73.
In 1823 Johann Georg Staufer invented the arpeggione, a six-stringed instrument with the fretted fingerboard and tuning of a guitar but played with a bow, like a viola da gamba. Though its survival was brief, it found one notable Viennese exponent in Vincenz Schuster, who even published a tutor for it. Schubert's single work for arpeggione, nowadays most often appropriated by cellists, was composed for Schuster in November 1824, a year memorable for the 27-year-old composer's return to health, after serious illness, and also his return to the sphere of chamber music.
"All the instruments are having a turn" was Clara Schumann's diary comment in the spring of 1849 as her husband, approaching his thirty-ninth birthday, wrote miniatures for clarinet, horn, and cello with piano (oboe and viola suites soon followed). With her own concert travels restricted by a fast-growing family, domestic music-making with friends from the Dresden Court Orchestra proved a constant source of pleasure for them both. The "Fantasiestucke" for clarinet, Op. 73, dated February 11-12, 1849, were in fact tried out by Clara with the clarinettist, Johann Kotte, barely a week later, though Schumann at once stipulated that they were no less apt for violin or cello as clarinet. The word attacca after Nos. 1 and 2 as well as the A minor-major key-scheme reveals that Schumann envisaged the three pieces as a continuous suite travelling in mood from nostalgic lyricism to firm resolution.
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Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
Sonata for arpeggione and piano in A minor D. 821
1. Allegro moderato
Robert Schuman (1810 - 1856)
Fantaisies for cello and piano Op. 73
1. Zart und mit Ausdruck
2. Lebhaft, leicht
3. Rasch und mit Feuer
5 Pieces "im Volkston" for piano and cello Op. 102
4. Vanitas vanitatum (Mit Humor)
6. Nicht schnell, mit viel Ton zu spielen
7. Nicht zu rasch
8. Stark und markiert