Schumann’’s Fantasie, Op. 17 is one of the finest examples of Romantic piano music. In a rounded picture of this major keyboard work, Nicholas Marston first traces the fascinating history of its composition, drawing on many of Schumann’’s letters to Clara Wieck and to his publisher, and examining the few surviving sketches: To whom was the work really dedicated? Was the celebrated opening movement perhaps intended as an independent composition? Schumann’’s own critical writings provide vital insights into his ideas on genre and the relationship between the Fantasie and the many generic and descriptive titles that the composer gave the work before publication. Every aspect of the work is covered, providing the performer, the listener or the student with an understanding not only of the Fantasie, but of Schumann himself as a composer.