Composed in the key In the key A minor this movement in ABA ternary form has a haunting beautiful quality. Debussy has created an arrangement which has beauty, shape and a sense of space. Debussy probably better than any other communicates the elements of the canonic study in his two piano arrangement of this movement creating the space and texture to communicate the details of the canon. Some of the detail of the scoring is different to Schumann’s original version for pedal piano. It is very interesting that other composers have re-visited Schumann’s Studies in Canon Opus 56 namely Bizet and Debussy. Tempo rubato is a musical element that could be explored in a performance although it has not been used in the realisation.
The accompaniment downloads available enable players to enjoy an ensemble music experience playing either the Piano I or Piano II parts. The Piano I part sounds on the one channel of the stereo signal and Piano II on the other. Accompaniment 1 plays at 69 dotted quarter (crotchet) note beats to the minute, Accompaniment 2 at 66 dotted quarter (crotchet) note beats to the minute, Accompaniment 3 at 63 quarter note beats (crotchet) to the minute and Accompaniment 4 at 60 quarter note beats to the minute. There is a two bar count in with the sound of a woodblock. As the music is in 12/8 time the music editor suggests that players should familiarise themeselves with this. In a performance situation printing two pages of music onto one side of A4 offers a practical solution for players.