All the compositions included in this album are entitled Fantasiestu?cke (Fantasy Pieces). Apparently the name Fantasiestu?cke was introduced to musical practice by Schumann, who in turn borrowed it from Hoffmann. In 1814 Hoffmann published his first three volumes of novellas under the general title of Fantasiestu?cke in Callots Manier (Fantasy Pieces in Callot’s Manner). These essays, music reviews and fairy tales brought him his first success and fame as a writer.
The authors of Fantasy Pieces – Schumann, Gade, Sitt, Naumann and Reinecke – belonged to different generations and lived in different countries. However, all were connected with Leipzig to a greater or lesser degree, and this factor is important. In the 19th century a distinct school of composers evolved in Leipzig and their influence spread far beyond the German border. Leipzig, the town of Bach and Bach’s circle, home of one of the most famous orchestras in the world (the Gewandhaus) and the first German Conservatory, was the ideal place of study for budding professional musicians. This was largely due to the efforts of Mendelssohn, founder and director of the Leipzig Conservatory and chief conductor of the Gewandhaus.