Robert Schumann and the many fairy tale masks

Robert Schumann and the many fairy tale masks


The title of the book, "From distant people and countries", is a free translation of "Von fremden Ländern und Menschen", the introductory piece of the piano collection "Kinderszenen" by Robert Schumann, composed in 1838. It is a "musical narration of the 'childhood” through fairy-tale scenes and paintings of wonderful everyday life. The fairy tale, like the musical aura that introduces this volume, wears many masks. Indeed, many worlds that intersect and that starting from afar all arrive at the same point: to tell the contemporaneity between music and words. The first contribution of the volume, by William Grandi, intends to explore the fairy tale to grasp some main aspects of a narrative experience - the fairy tale, precisely - which involves all of humanity, crossing spaces and cultures, languages ​​and suggestions.

Susanna Barsotti

In the second part of the text, Susanna Barsotti proceeds with an analysis of the main European collections of fairy tales of popular tradition, following a historical-literary approach, with the aim of offering a descriptive and critical look at the evolution of the fairy tale heritage from modern age to the second half of the last century.

Leonardo Acon

The third part of the volume, by Leonardo Acone, pursues the enormous karstic potential that can be attributed to fairy tales and the overall fairy tale register: the fairy tale does not die out over the centuries and, on the contrary, raises its rate of literary pervasiveness by re-emerging whenever the pages allow it in terms of amazement, wonder, enchantment and magic. Not secondary is the choice to address such a vast theme starting from the great German composer and critic. Schumann is in fact considered as one of the initiators of musical romanticism as well as one of its most important exponents. Because within his oeuvre, it is precisely the piano compositions published around 1830 that are considered the most authentically romantic. His music, in fact, reflects the profoundly individualistic nature of Romanticism which also in the essay "From distant peoples and countries" seems to be a pedagogical implication. Intellectual and aesthete, meditative, but always projected towards the future, he was little understood in life, a condition common to many great artists. But, perhaps, it is precisely the restlessness that arises from his personal experiences that have made the "fairytale" tone of his compositions ageless and the message of a man who is struggling to find his place in the world particularly timely. And perhaps the importance of the essay by Acone, Barsotti and Grandi stems precisely from this theme, from the topicality of the inadequacy that man of all times experiences and which he tries to overcome through refuge in an "unreal" narration, in a story that arises from the urgency of modern man not to lose the sense of narration of himself. Posthumously, Schumann's music has been regarded as daringly original in its harmony, rhythm, form and innovative piano technique, as has his activity as a music critic who championed and publicized the art of Chopin and his Brahms compositions.

Leonardo Acone, Susanna Barsotti, William Grandi "From distant peoples and countries", Marcianum Press, pag. 248, 23 euros

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