A comparison of selected performing editions of the Robert Schumann symphonies.
AuthorHoy, Patricia Jean.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study has attempted to observe and understand the reorchestrations of the four Robert Schumann symphonies through the analysis of revisions found in the edited scores of several eminent conductors. To provide a faithful and effective performance of Schumann's orchestral conception, the conductor may find it necessary to alter certain features in his scores. Conductors have complained that Schumann's symphonies are ineffectual in many passages. This is the reason they are less frequently performed than they deserve. Four performance editions of the complete Schumann symphonies were chosen to form the basis for this study. They are: Gustav Mahler, Arturo Toscanini, George Szell, Felix Weingartner. The revisions of other conductors were incorporated as available and appropriate. These include: Fritz Reiner, Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Georg Solti, Joseph Keilberth, Gotthold Lessing, Willem Mengelberg, Eugene Ormandy, Hans Pfitzner, Theodore Thomas, Max Reger, Fritz Busch. The study of Schumann's orchestration involved the investigation of his development as an orchestral composer, including the influence of the piano on his scoring and his understanding of the orchestra. The state of the orchestra in Schumann's time and his development as an orchestral composer were also studied in order to better understand his technique in terms of his orchestral experience. The study of the revisions reveals that Schumann's scoring was less successful than many other composers in providing an orchestration which supports and clarifies the structural logic of the composition. It thus becomes the conductor's responsibility to assume the role of editor to provide a faithful performance of the work. Analysis of the reorchestrations reveals changes concerning dynamic balance, clarity, timbre and style, as well as manner of performance. This study has attempted to provide vital information about the performing editions and the aesthetic effect achieved through alteration of the original Schumann scores.