Schumann - Knight Rupert

(Op. 68 No. 12)

Knight Rupert, No. 12 from Schumann’s Album for the Young, Op. 68, is a favourite recital piece for the intermediate player, and great fun to play. The rousing A section contrasts beautifully with the more lyrical B section. Come up with a story line from your imagination, but first do some research on the character - according to German folklore Knight Rupert is Saint Nicolas’ companion, but someone who might give lumps of coal to naughty children instead of a more welcome Christmas present.

The piece places plenty of demands on the player, and I have selected three Q-spots that will benefit from some very careful, systematic practice – one snippet from the A section and two parallel spots from the B section. Provided you know how the piece should sound in its entirety from some pre-listening, it is possible to work on these extracts before you even begin work on the rest of the piece. If you work on these extracts diligently and regularly (rather than hoping they will come right after several weeks of hacking through) you can expect them to feel easy in performance, and your playing will be safe and reliable.

The three Q-spots are:

  • Bar 18 – Downbeat of bar 21
  • Bar 37 – 40
  • Bar 45 – 48
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