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Cello Journey #24, Schumann Fantasiestucke No.1

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In this episode we play the first of three Fantasiestucke (Fantasy Pieces) by Robert Schumann. This piece was originally written for clarinet and piano but I think it sounds good on the cello. Schumann often wrote sets of miniatures that each have their own mood. In this one there is some tension between triplets (three notes per beat) in the piano and duplets (two notes per beat) in melodies in both the cello and piano. This adds unrest to this emotional and romantic piece. We hope you enjoy it.


  1. Hey Luke, do you know the Kodaly Sonata, Op. 8? It’s my absolute favorite. I love how bombastic and passionate it is while also displaying the immaculate skill of the musician (*cough* Luke *cough*)!

  2. Patrick – Thank you. The Kodaly is a really neat piece. It is a bit similar to the Hungarian Rhapsody. Hopefully I can get around to it some time.


  3. Hi the Fantasie Struck really helped thankyou. I am just about to play that piece for my grade 7 in a couple of weeks time so thankyou that really gave me a good idea for how the piece goes.
    Thankyou again.

  4. It keeps getting better and better!!! Keep up the good work!! So helpfull to see the piece instead of only hearing it. Is it just my computer, or is the vocalise not working. Everytime I click on it, it brings up the Schumman!?? Might just be me though.

    Again, so enjoyable.

  5. Hey, I just had a cool idea. You could have a setting (on all your songs with piano) to turn your cello off. That way after we cellist listen to how it goes, we can play with the piano!!! It might be kinda difficult, but it might be worth a try!!!

  6. Hey, Luke, what is the most difficult piece written for cello? When Patrick mentioned the Kodaly sonata above it got me thinking. Is that it? It sounds like it.
    PS whats going to be in the new episode?
    (PPS I’m giving a recital with my teacher and her other students later in the year featuring all Popper! Yay!)
    Thanks alot! Spencer

  7. Hey Luke! Once again, great stuff, I’m enjoying your entries mroe as they come =) what and when will the next episode be? I would still very much like to hear Popper Elfentanz or a Brahms Sonata


  8. Thanks Tradge. Both of those are great. The next episode should be out some time next week. We will play the variations by Ludwig van Beethoven on a theme by Mozart, “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fĂĽhlen”.


  9. Spencer – I am not sure what the most difficult piece for cello is. The Kodaly is up there. Great to hear about a recital of all Popper. I think I once took part in something like that. You can hear all these different pieces in the same concert.


  10. Ben – That sounds like a neat idea. There is a music series called Music Minus One where they have a version with the cello and piano and then only the piano. It would be a bit challenging to do that on Cello Journey. It think the piano would have to be recorded separately. Maybe one day we will do something like that. Have fun playing the cello.


  11. My goodness I am absolutely in love with that piece. I really hope that one day I will get to play it because it is just so lovely.

    You both play so well, how long does it take for you both to work up the pieces on this site for performance standard? The pieces that you play are quite hard; it must take a lot of practice. I understand you have probably being playing cello for a long time and this makes it easier but being able to play everything with such precision and expression must take a lot of effort.

    I just want to let you both know that your music making is inspiring and helpful to me as a musician. Music is a universal language and I am sure that you are reaching people all over the world with your fabulous playing. I just want you to know that you are both doing something that is important and worthwhile.

    Greetings from Australia!


  12. Thank you Karly. I really appreciate your comments. I agree. There is something really great about this piece. Robert Schumann did such great stuff.

    When we prepare these episodes we sometimes wish we had more rehearsal/practice time. I think we spend more time preparing individually so that when we play together we know what to do.

    Great to hear from Australia. I want to visit there one day.


  13. Great performance once again! Please keep up the great work.
    Also, it would be great to hear the Franck Sonata in A sometime in the future.

  14. hi can you please play bouree of squire. I would be very happy. you inpired me to play “schumann fantasiestucke” and now i am going to play that song on a kompetition, I am going to play “bouree of sqiure” too.

    You have fans in sweden!!!!!!!

  15. Jim – Thanks for the request.  The Franck sonata works really well on the cello.  I was thinking it would be nice to play it some time this year.
    Ingrid – Nice to hear from Sweden. I like the Bouree by Squire. Hopefully we can play it some time. Good luck in the competition!


  16. I really liked this piece, it was quite lovely. I’ve only been playing for four years and sadly enough I have no repertoire except for the Haydn and saint-saens cello concerti. I always feel so drained after i play them over and over so it was nice to hear music that wasn’t so intense. I wonder, could you recommend some pieces that are light and performable? It would be a big help.

    Thanks so much for posting these wonderful videos.

  17. Amina – Great that you are playing the Haydn and Saint-Saens. They are really nice pieces. I think some of the Popper stuff is lighter and good for performing. I play a few of those in some of the videos.


  18. shouldnt the new episode be up now? take all the time necessary mr. stanley, just wondering when i can see it.

  19. There is a Schumann concerto that was written for a horror film, but I cannot remember the name off the top of my head… Could you play that one sometime in the future??


  20. Robert – The Schumann concerto is a wonderful piece. I didn’t know it was in a horror film…hehe. Hopefully we can play it some time.


  21. I keep coming back for more!

    Thank you some much for this wonderful site.

    Do you have Song Without Words by Mendelssohn in your projects?

  22. Olivier – Thanks for the request. That is a great piece. I will add it to the list of requests and hopefully we can play it some time.

    I like Mendelssohn very much. His cello sonatas are also great. I really like his octet for strings too.


  23. This is wonderful ! ! ! ! ! !
    I’m planning to start learn this piece and I think i found the great recording! hehe

    However, I’m wondering whether there are 2nd and 3rd movements as well.

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