“Have you read Adorno on Schumann’s Fantasia in C Major? He talks of his twilight. It’s not Schumann bereft of reason, but just before. A fraction before. He knows he’s losing his mind. It torments him but he clings on one last time. It’s being aware of what it means to lose oneself before being completely abandoned.” – The Piano Teacher, 2001 (dir. Michael Haneke)
The Fantasie in C major, Op. 17, was written by Robert Schumann in 1836. It was revised prior to publication in 1839, when it was dedicated to Franz Liszt. It is generally described as one of Schumann’s greatest works for solo piano, and is one of the central works of the early Romantic period. It is often called by the Italian version, Fantasia; the word “Fantasie” is the German spelling.