Robert Schumann's Piano Works by Fabio Grasso


Welcome to the index of the 9 virtual lecture-recitals that present Fabio Grasso's commented performances of a relevant number of Schumann's piano works.

This is a thematic non-chronological route, along which the sequences of pieces are proposed according to their degree of affinity as regards aesthetic, literary, biographical, inspirational as well as compositional background, even in spite of their possible great time severance.

For easily understandable practical reasons, or as a consequence of a personal aesthetic choice, the following works are not included in the series: the Etudes op. 3 and op. 10, the Impromptus op. 5, the Fugues op. 72 and the "little Fugues" op. 126, and the pieces specifically composed for the "Jugend" (op. 68 and 118).


The links to the commented performances are gradually appearing on this page.


The following programmes are currently being proposed in "real" concerts in Venice for Agimus Venezia seasons - s.

n. 1: November 22nd 2013 - Page of the event

n. 2: September 27th 2014 - Page of the event

n. 3: September 19th 2015 - Page of the event

n. 4: October 8th 2016 - Page of the event

n. 5: October 7th 2017


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N. 1 - about 80’

Jean Paul as polar star for Schumann’s education and aesthetic direction.

Flegeljahre: from Walt and Vult to Florestan and Eusebius.

Enigma and irony. Masks, dances and Carnival.


Papillons op. 2, Faschingsschwank aus Wien (Vienna Carnival) op. 26,

Blumenstück op. 19, Carnaval op. 9


Blumenstück op. 19



N. 2 - about 75’

Evolution of Jean Paul's influence and some traces of Goethe.

The inner restlessness and the formal research.

Early premonitions and memories as foundations of the musical structures.

The fall of the masks.


Intermezzi op. 4, Sonata op. 22 in G minor, Toccata op. 7,

Davidsbündlertänze op. 6


Download Italian essay about op. 4



N. 3 - about 70’

E. T. A. Hoffmann: the Phantasiestück and its artistic, literary and musical tradition,

Oneiric world (presaging Heine-Lieder), synaesthesia, obsessions and Mephistophelean shadows.

Kreisler as tragically premonitory figure.


Phantasiestücke op. 12, Geistervariationen op. posth. Anh. F39,

Kreisleriana op. 16


Download Italian essay about op. 16


N. 4 - about 75’

Beyond Hoffmann: the amplitude of the literary interests and the "novelty" of the "Novelletten".

The modern conception of the relation between music and inspiring literature.


Drei Romanzen op. 28, Drei Phantasiestücke op. 111, Novelletten op. 21




N. 5 - about 70’

Die innere Stimme. Heine and the secret murmurs of dream.

Eichendorff and the recollection of childhood.

The smiling sadness of the Humoreske, foreseeing a turning point in creative life.


Vier Klavierstücke op. 32, Abegg Variationen op. 1,

Kinderszenen op. 15, Humoreske op. 20.



N. 6 - about 70’

A flight through a multifaceted Romantic universe: the ardent desire of liberty, the enchanted world of the "Wald", Tieck and the communion with Nature, Eichendorff and the metaphors of the Rhine forests, with their idyllic images and their dark side.


Vier Märsche op. 76, Waldszenen op. 82, Sonata op. 14 in F minor



N. 7 - about 70’

The backward Sehnsucht: diaries of biographical, musical and literary memories.

The "dance of Mignon" and the devouring nostalgic sentiment.


Bunte Blätter op. 99, Allegro op. 8, Sonata op. 11 in F sharp minor



N. 8 - about 70'

The upward Sehnsucht: Goethe, Schlegel, Eichendorff.

A veil of Novalis's "himmlische Müdigkeit".

The highest homage to Clara Wieck, behind Beethoven.


Albumblätter op. 124, Arabeske op. 18, Fantasie op. 17



N. 9 - about 70’

Eichendorff: “Im Lied das tiefe Leid”; Hoffmann: "the diamonds and the tears".

A final synthesis between morning gleam and Hoffmannian night mistery - but silently pervaded by Novalis's spirit.


Gesänge der Frühe op. 133, Nachtstücke op. 23,

Symphonische Etüden op. 13 + 5 Posth. Variationen