Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Todd, R. Larry. “On Quotation in Schumann’s Music.” In Schumann and His World, ed. R. Larry Todd, 80-112. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.

Scholars and critics have long recognized that Robert Schumann’s music contains a multitude of quotations, allusions, and extramusical ideas. Although some of these borrowings are clearly heard, others are only apparent, and still others are conjectural and may not exist at all. Additionally, even when instances of borrowing or allusion can be proven, there is often much uncertainty over what these borrowings mean and how they function within each piece.

However, a loose typology, consisting of three categories, can help to illuminate the types of materials Schumann borrowed, and what these borrowings signify in their new contexts. First, Schumann’s historical interests led him to allude to composers of the past, especially Bach and Beethoven. Second, Schumann referenced contemporary composers as a means of praising or critiquing them, and thus promoting high musical standards while criticizing “shallow” composers. Finally, Schumann alluded to his own music, critically reinterpreting previous material in new and unexpected ways.

Works: Robert Schumann: Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26 (81); Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Op. 9 (82-84); Robert Schumann: Carnaval: Scènes Mignonnes sur Quatre Notes, Op. 9 (84-86), Papillons, Op. 2 (84-86), Album für die Jugend, Op. 68 (86-87), Impromptus, Op. 5 (86-87), Intermezzos, Op. 4 (87-89), Kreisleriana, Op. 16 (88-91, 104-5), Fantasie in C, Op. 17 (92-95), Konzert-Allegro mit Introduktion, Op. 134 (96-97), Kerner Gedichte, Op. 35 (97-98), Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97 (98-99), Noveletten, Op. 21 (101-2), Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120 (102-3), Klavierstücke, Op. 32 (104-5), Andante and Variations, Op. 46 (105-8).

Sources: Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle: La Marseillaise (81); Beethoven: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3 (81); Robert Schumann: Carnaval: Scènes Mignonnes sur Quatre Notes, Op. 9 (82-83); Anonymous: Groβvater-Tanz (84-91); Beethoven: An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98 (92-94); Schubert: Fantasie in C Major, D.760 (94), An die Musik, D.547 (94); Carl Maria von Weber: Konzert-Allegro mit Introduktion, Op. 134 (96-97); Clara Schumann: Notturno, Op. 6, No. 2 (101-2); Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda: Symphony No. 1, Op. 7 (102-3); Robert Schumann: Kreisleriana, Op. 16 (104-5), Frauenliebe und -leben, Op. 42 (106-8).

Index Classifications: General, 1800s

Contributed by: Matthew G. Leone

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