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Kreisleriana, Op. 16, is a composition in eight movements by Robert Schumann for solo piano, subtitled Phantasien für das Pianoforte, written in April 1838. Dedicated to Frédéric Chopin, it is a very dramatic work and is considered to be one of Schumann's finest compositions.

Kreisleriana, Op. 16 (1838)

All played by Giorgi Latso

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The work's programme, or at any rate the basis for a depiction of psychological music-drama, is based on the character Johannes Kreisler from works of E. T. A. Hoffmann. Like the kaleidoscopic Kreisler, each number has multiple contrasting sections, resembling the imaginary musician's manic-depression, and recalling Florestan and Eusebius, the two imaginary characters of Schumann's inner vision (representing his impulsive and dreamy sides, respectively). Johannes Kreisler appeared in three books by E. T. A. Hoffmann, most notably in Kreisleriana (a section of "Fantasiestücke in Callots Manier" published in 1814).

Schumann used material from the eighth movement, "Schnell und spielend", for the fourth movement of his first symphony.


About this sound Kreisleriana  (181 KB, 31:38 minutes)
MIDI rendition of a piano performance
  1. Äußerst bewegt (Extremely animated), D minor
  2. Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch (Very inwardly and not too quickly), B-flat major
  3. Sehr aufgeregt (Very agitated), G minor
  4. Sehr langsam (Very slowly), B-flat major/D minor
  5. Sehr lebhaft (Very lively), G minor
  6. Sehr langsam (Very slowly), B-flat major
  7. Sehr rasch (Very fast), C minor/E-flat major
  8. Schnell und spielend (Fast and playful), G minor

External links[edit]