Robert Schumann: Wintertime II from Album for the Young Op 68 No 39

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Dedicated to Schumann’s young daughters, and evidently meant for their small hands to play at the keyboard, 'Album for the Young' Op 68 dates from 1848.

On Sale: 01/02/2022

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Robert Schumann: Wintertime II from Album for the Young Op 68 No 39

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Though meant for beginners, it presents challenges for pianists of all levels and ages, not least in keeping a simple and clear style. Winterime I (No 38) featured inside 2019’s December issue (No 111).

Playing tips: Listen to the creeping bass-octave writing at the start and you can feel the dark chill of winter. Keep the dynamics quiet and use your best legato – the fingers should ‘crawl’ over the keys. A more passionate and spirited section in the key of G minor appears at bar 25 – make sure to bring out the sharp contrast of dynamics from bar 33. The opening returns briefly at bar 41, but not for long – bar 49 heralds a long coda which sees the darkness lifting; at bar 72, Schumann has taken us into the glorious key of C major. The sun has emerged!

Pedal tips: At the start, try to use finger pedalling only. In the middle section, though, dabs of pedal can be used for the quaver slurs. Keep the dabs shallow.

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