Sonata sketch by Robert Schumann brought to light by Frederick Moyer and the Web
Schumann fans, especially those of a pianistic inclination, will want to delve into the sketches of an unfinished fourth sonata that can now be seen and heard, thanks to the Web and the extraordinary efforts of pianist Frederick Moyer and his uncle, Paul Green, an electrical engineer.
In brief, these guys tracked down the unfinished manuscript, deciphered Schumann's writing and prepared a performable edition. Then they created a very impressive download application that lets you follow, on the same page, both Schumann's original and the newly printed version, while listening to Moyer play the music (each measure is highlighted in sync with the playing).
You can zoom in on any spot of the score, and check out printed and audio commentary at various points along the way to learn more about ...
how Moyer and Green interpreted Schumann's intentions. The sonata sketch page of Moyer's Web site contains the download info, as well as an extremely detailed essay on the background of the abandoned fourth sonata. You can also download your own copy of the realized sketch.
This project is a very classy example of musicological excavation, IMHO, and the product is doubly enhanced by Moyer's sensitive, involving performance of this tantalizing music. He brings great commitment to the score, even those passages that Schumann clearly hadn't finished fleshing out, making it easy to appreciate the potential of the material -- and to regret all the more that the composer never got around to completing what he started.
PHOTO BY GEORGE MACCABEE COURTESY OF FREDERICK MOYER