"I was very diligent all this entire time – it was my most productive year," wrote Robert Schumann in 1849 in a letter to Ferdinand Hiller. This was the year that saw him compose the Three Romances for oboe and piano op. 94, which Robert presented to his wife Clara as a Christmas gift. And the choice of the oboe was no coincidence, since the composer loved the instrument.
The French oboist Céline Moinet presents a selection of works written by Schumann for the oboe or which were specially arranged for the instrument. "I took the liberty of transposing some works for my own instrument, although oboists of Schumann's era had already discovered his oeuvre for themselves," explains the artist. "The oboist Emilius Lund (1830–1893) performed his Three Romances op. 94 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig in 1863 with Carl Reinecke at the piano. He also arranged and published versions of 'Träumerei' and 'Am Kamin' from Schumann's Kinderszenen (1838) for the oboe."
Clara Schumann too composed Romances (op. 22), originally for violin and piano, but which lend themselves equally well to the oboe. And there is a wonderful arrangement by Theodor Kirchner of Robert Schumann's Studies for the Pedal Piano op. 56, which brings together the oboe, cello and piano.
And it is Schumann's Lieder and lyric gems that are lent a completely unique new colouring thanks to the oboe's timbre. Even though there are no lyrics to this version for oboe and piano – the poetry comes out fully in any case – this is clearly a declaration of love set to music: "My lovely star! I beg you, / Do not fall to the Earth, / Because you see me here below, / Instead, lift me up to heaven, / My lovely star, where you already are!"