Just as I parceled out voices in the opening of Schubert’s Impromptu in Gb Major, Op. 90, I’ve done the same with Robert Schumann’s “Of Foreign Lands and Peoples” from his Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood) In both these works Romantic era lyrical expression is in full bloom.
1) Start by isolating the Melody (Soprano) in the Right Hand, and shape it with a beautiful LEGATO singing tone. Be aware of finger switching or substitutions. (These will allow an uninterrupted flow between soprano and alto voices when the piece is played as notated)
(I use Solfeggio to help me map all voices, using a MOVABLE Do so that whatever key I am in within a composition, the DO does not stay fixed on C… but adjusts to new tonalities.)
2) Block out the Alto voice that crosses from Left hand to Right. Use good fingering.
3) Identify and Practice the Bass, then combine with the treble (Melody)
4) Block out the Alto and play with the Melody
5) Roll out the Alto triplet figures, as you play the melody and bass lines, without pedal.
The middle voice should be seamless as it crosses from Bass to Treble. Make sure thumbs do not pop out. Think light and feathery thumbs.
6) Add a half pedaling for the opening phrases, first section, and play as written.
There are options to play melody, then bass, then bass and melody.. continuing on with alto blocking etc. and combining remaining voices in an order that feels comfortable.
With this layered approach the student will become deeply involved with the music, as he takes it apart piece by piece, and puts it back together again.
I hope the videos attached will be helpful.
I will be moving on to the brief middle section when I return from the Bay area.
1) Think in three voices. Soprano, Alto and Bass. Where there are double stems on one or more notes, one might be conscious of an added Tenor that converges with the alto. (but it is fleeting) Perhaps Schumann otherwise had no means to notate ties. At those points he desired more resonance among his voices.
2) The rolling triplet in the Alto should be seamless as it is divided between the hands. It’s easy to fall into a punched out thumb that has lost its way. The triplet figure should flow from Bass to Treble as one continuous voice.
3) Map out the basic harmonies that are formed as the voices move along. These are not complex. Look for Tonic, Dominant, Sub-Dominant and Diminished.