The circumstances in which these poetic ?Soir?e Pieces? (thus their original title) came into being are quite surprising. In 1849 Dresden was seized by violent political turmoil that ultimately forced Schumann to flee with Clara to the countryside. Yet none of this is apparent in the music of these three pieces, whose idyllic character signifies a longing for harmony and seclusion. Originally conceived for the clarinet, they were accompanied by alternative parts for violin and cello as early as the original print. We have subjected our editions to a thoroughgoing critique and include a section of detailed editorial notes.?