Robert Schumann was just 20 years old when he started composing his Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 in 1830. It took him eight years to complete it, and over the course of that time Schumann experienced both major setbacks and tremendous joy – emotions you can feel in the contours of the sonata.
Mark Wait, who is dean of Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, was also 20 when he played the sonata for the first time in 1968. Now, over 50 years later, Wait says he’s played this sonata more than any other piece of music.
In this episode of Keeping Score, Kara McLeland talks to Wait about how he fell in love with the peculiarites of Robert Schumann, how he has grown with this sonata over the years, and why playing it is like riding a big roller coaster.