I've just been looking through old threads and there seems to be very little on Schumann.....
I have come to Schumann only recently - perhaps only in the last year or so. I had heard odd pieces here and there (especially the ubiquitous Traumerie) but had never really felt much of an attraction. Largely through ignorance, I think I must have put him with all the other early Romantic composers - espcially Chopin and Mendelssohn - and foolishly decided he wasn't going to be my cup of tea.
Then I heard the Fantasy in C and since then I have been gradually working my way through his stuff. I still have a long way to go, but the more I hear, the more I want to hear. At the moment, I tend to listen to the piano music (there seems to be a lot of it!), though I have also dipped (briefly) into the symphonies and chamber works.
I would be interested in:
1. Other people's views on Schumann. Pieces they like, don't like and so on. What Schumann means to them. Where they place him in the "tradition". Is he a true great or only a minor great?
2. General guidance. What are the key, indispensable works? Which ones are "second rate" - if any? Are the later works really marred by the decline in his mental health? Favourite recordings and performances.
It is a little general, but as I mentioned, there doesn't seem to be much on Schumann on this forum (I expect someone will correct me.......) and a general opening may suggest more specific lines of development later on.