Let’s start by watching Sviatoslav Richter play the living daylights of this piece.

Many works of classical music have easy-to-pronounce names. There are Papillons (Schumann), Aida (Verdi) and other pieces that have mellifluous names that roll right off the tongue.

Then we come to Faschingsschwank aus Wien (roughly translated, “Carnival Pieces from Vienna), a set of four “fantasy pieces” that Robert Schumann composed for piano in 1839. The pieces are intended to be fun. The first of them contains snippets of the Marseillaise.

Faschingsschwank aus Wien is not only a tongue-twister. It is a finger-twister too, and dauntingly difficult to play, especially the final piece of the four, a breakneck finale. If you listen to them on Classical Archives, you will find that they have charms and virtues that make them just as worthwhile as Schumann’s more often-performed piano works like Kinderszenen, Papillons and Davidsbündlertänze.

One of the great recordings of this work that you enjoy right now on Classical Archives!

You’ll find a terrific selection of performances right here on Classical Archives from pianists Alfred Cortot, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Robert Taub, and others.

Twist your tongue, twist your fingers, and twist your ears too. Faschingsschwank aus Wien can do all that for you and more, so start listening now.