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Schumann’s “incomprehensible lack” of tempo judgment

schumann godowsky

Famous pianist Godowski wrote in his 1915 edition of Schumann’s Kinderscenen that Schumann had “an incomprehensible lack of judgment in deciding the speed of every number”. In other words: a great composer, but a musical ignorant…? We may not say or write these kind of things anymore but… we still act in our performances accordingly, not paying attention to Schumann’s carefully given metronome numbers.
Let’s dive into this fascinating subject together and, really first time here on the channel, I’ll demonstrate some pieces on my 1866 Erard piano.

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