Robert Schumann: Zur Aktualität romantischer Musik by N. Linke and G. Kneip
This expensive import is part of a series designed to provide teaching materials, methods and practice for the musical education of fifth forms. The accent falls heavily on present-day appeal and actual sound; “Schumann hat bereits einen Boom” is a typical keyphrase. The frankly commercial and indeed massmarket approach, lolly and pop, smacks of undue keenness to kowtow to the kids; and the Cone sometimes suggests fathers pretending to be brothers, patronizing disguised as fraternizing. The general eagerness to please and persuade can lead to overconfident assertion. On whose authority for example is the youth of Germany to be instructed that Schumann's hand injury was caused by piano practice, or that the bass of Mondnacht was designed to spell out “Ehe”? But in the hands of teachers who can keep their cool and their distance, this workmanlike tool of instruction could achieve deep penetration into Schumann's life and art. The musical examples, separately available on two hours of tape, are admirably selected and documented; the illustrations are well chosen and reproduced; the detailed questions for class discussion are copiously furnished with what seem in every sense to be model answers.
The Musical Times, May 1979 (p. 402) © the estate of eric sams