Ballade vom Haideknaben (Schumann)

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The Ballade vom Haideknaben (Вещий сон) is a declamation with piano by Robert Schumann (Op. 122, No. 1), which Tchaikovsky orchestrated in February 1874 (TH 184 ; ČW 415) [1].


Arranged for reciter, and an orchestra consisting of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (in A), 2 bassoons + 4 horns (in F), 2 trumpets (in F), tuba + 3 timpani + violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, and double basses.

Movements and Duration

There is one movement (B minor, 98 bars) [2], lasting around 5 minutes in performance.


The original German words were by Friedrich Hebbel (1813–1867), from his poem Der Heideknabe (1844). The surviving copy of the arrangement omits the words of the ballad, but notes on the manuscript score suggest that a Russian translation of the text (now lost) was used at the first performance.


Nothing is known about Tchaikovsky's work on the arrangement, which according to the date on the manuscript score was completed on 27 February/10 March 1874.


The arrangement was performed at a special symphony concert of the Russian Musical Society in Moscow on 7/19 April 1874. The text was recited by Ivan Samarin, and the orchestra was conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein.


Tchaikovsky's arrangement was published for the first time in 1970 in volume 59 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works, edited by Irina Iordan.


The autograph score of Tchaikovsky's arrangement has been lost, but a manuscript copy made by Karl Albrecht survives in the Russian National Museum of Music in Moscow (ф. 88, No. 162).

Related Works

The Ballade vom Haideknaben was composed in 1852 by Robert Schumann (1810–1856), and published in 1853 as No. 1 of Zwei Balladen für Deklamation mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Op. 122.

Notes and References

  1. Entitled "Prophetic Dream" in ČW.
  2. Tchaikovsky's arrangement has no tempo indication, but Schumann's original ballad was marked "Ziemlich bewegt".