Of Foreign Lands and People
Of Foreign Lands and People comes from a collection of Schumann’s works aptly named “Scenes from Childhood.” This simple piece does evoke images of nostalgia and childhood wonder. It reminds the listener of a simpler time, when everything seemed very foreign and exciting. To a child, something new is something exciting, and often sparks further wonder and a desire to learn more. In adulthood, we tend to avoid the foreign in favor of the comfortable, but perhaps we should endeavor to view the world through a more child-like lens.
This piece is deceptively simple, as the right hand is split between the rolling arpeggios in the bass and the melody in the treble. It is also very expressive, and while it can be played without, the rubato characteristic of the era in which it was written adds another level of complexity to an otherwise simple piece. It is an incredibly rewarding piece to play and I recommend it to any intermediate pianist.