The circumstances in which these poetic “Soirée Pieces” (thus their original title) came into being are quite surprising. In 1849 Dresden was seized by violent political turmoil that ultimately forced Schumann to flee with Clara to the countryside. Yet none of this is apparent in the music of these three pieces, whose idyllic character signifies a longing for harmony and seclusion. Originally conceived for the clarinet, they were accompanied by alternative parts for violin and cello as early as the original print. We have subjected our editions to a thoroughgoing critique and include a section of detailed editorial notes.
“This edition contains parts for either B-flat or A clarinet and gives most credence to the 1849 first edition published by Carl Luckardt. Editor Herttrich claims, in his informative notes and extensive editorial comments, that Schumann did read the proofs to the first edition and therefore the changes in it from the autograph manuscript reflect Schumann's revised thinking. The layout of the clarinet part is spacious yet fits in the customary six pages.”--The Clarinet magazine