Three Romances, opus 94, by Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Nicht schnell — Einfach, innig — Nicht schnell
Three Romances are a set of instrumental love songs Robert Schumann wrote in 1849 as a Christmas present to his young bride Clara. They open with confessional intimacy, the oboe personifying Robert, the piano Clara. At first the couple sing tentative questions and answers, but in the second Romance the voices become agitated as they interrupt each other in a staggered rhythm. In the last Romance, the lovers declare love in a recurring unison motive, but Clara’s piano answers each unison with a solo cadence, sadly prefiguring for us her long life alone after Robert’s suicide.