The composition cost him his sleep. In October 1842, when Schumann had finished his piano quintet in a short period of time, he was physically and emotionally drained. The work in no way reflects this, quite the contrary. ?Full of strength and freshness? said Clara Schumann of the new composition, as well as ?extremely brilliant and effective.? Even Richard Wagner added his voice to the great wave of admiration. Thus op. 44 soon became one of Schumann's most successful compositions, which today is still a jewel in chamber music literature. If the quartet reminds one of a piano concerto with orchestra in string quartet format at times, this is explained by the fact that it was intended for Clara's repertoire. The work was also dedicated to this brilliant pianist.
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