From the Publisher
It was in February 1854, a few weeks before Robert Schumann’s admission to the psychiatric hospital in Endenich, that he wrote his variations on a theme in E-flat major. Because of the extraordinary, personal and moving events of those days, Clara Schumann guarded the manuscript pages of her husband’s final piano composition, dedicated to her and later called “Ghost Variations,” like relics, and prohibited their publication. The first edition was not published until 1939, and in many respects does not correspond with what Schumann actually wrote down. For the first time, the Henle Urtext edition draws upon all the available primary sources, and thus is effectively the only reliable Urtext edition of a work that in recent years has been heard with increasing frequency.