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Who was “Pauline, Countess of Abegg,” the dedicatee of the first edition? Nowadays it is known that the matter revolves around a romantic mystification of the name of Meta Abegg, a friend from Schumann's youth, whose surname inspired Schumann to a theme on A-B-E-G-G (a-hb-e-g-g). The “rewarding and sparkling piece” – as it was described by a critic of the time – makes high technical demands, but is distinguished by a youthful freshness and ingenious virtuosity. With this work (the first, incidentally, that Schumann deemed worthy of publication), Henle has issued a good third of Schumann's piano works in revised versions that take account of the current state of research. The thoroughly-revised musical text is complemented by an informative preface and detailed commentary. Further revised volumes are in progress.
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