"First Snow," a la Schumann

I have a new best friend. His name is Robert Schumann.

Seriously, I was listening to the Teaching Company lecture about how Schumann wrote little portraits, little tiny pianistic sketches of things. Apparently, he was equally drawn to both music and poetry.

Well, shut my mouth. So am I.

Why do I feel like every major composer is a kindred spirit? Particularly the tortured ones??

Anyway, I dug up my favorite poetry book (other than the Norton Anthology of Poetry), New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver. And opened to a page. It happened to be the poem "First Snow."

So I just read the words and played musically what the words said. Pretended to be Schumann and "drew" a picture of "First Snow."

It was beautiful. And it wasn't just my usual boring, uncreative New-Agey beautiful. It really was pretty. And interesting. Schumannesque and not sounding of the 21st century, of course, but still ... it was very nice. So I've started writing it down. I played it four times: twice for me, once for Dan, and once on the phone for my mom. I played different notes every time, but the senses of movement were the same. So now that I've started writing it down, I'll be more exact.

But not too exact. There's nothing exact about a first snow. 'Cept that it's beautiful.

And I like writing beautiful music. Particularly when it's not (in my opinion) musically boring.

La la la! I'm a happy girlie tonight.


The Wobbler said…

Truly, your joy in music is inspiring. I hope you are having a good new year. I ran across this music and figured you would just have to have it.
Emrah said…
Sounds exciting. Wish I could listen to it, too.
What about an attempt to set the poem to the music with words? "Lied", "romans", "chanson" etc. are my favourite genre. Schumann was my favourite lied composer during my years in the conservatory. I enthusiastically recommend his Liederkreis, Op.39 and Dichterliebe, Op.48. Both are brilliant song cycles. Most of his songs were composed within a couple of years, 1840-41 to express his love for Clara and the feeling of frustration. You know, they got secretly engaged and had to wait for thirteen years to get marry if I remember correctly.
Waterfall said…
Wobbler--Thanks for the link ... who knew that the Mario music was on the internet? Cool site, too ... I like "Trippppy."

Emrah--I've written music for lyrics in the past, but haven't done that in a long, long time. It's definitely something I want to start doing more of.

Yes, I knew that about Robert and Clara Schumann, thanks to my Teaching Company tapes. I don't know how I managed to play piano for so long and never learn very much about either of them until recently.

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