These romances were written on three separate days during December 1849 and were presented to his wife, Clara, on Christmas.
Schumann called them “his hundredth opusculum.” Three days later, Clara held a private performance at the Royal Chapel in Dresden, the soloist being a violin. In late 1850, the piece was rehearsed with an oboist, and by 1851 a publication was available for piano and violin, oboe, or clarinet. Being very lyrical in nature, these pieces highlight the solo instrument’s melodic and color qualities rather than technical expertise. All three start very simply, with similar tempos and style. However, it is the haunting melodies Schumann wrote that create lovely musical variety for each movement.
Listen (performances by Sharon Murphy, recorded March 4, 2008):