Robert Schumann was not a man for half-measures. Although he composed continuously from his mid-teens onwards, his output is characterised by a number of what one might call generic waves, where he threw himself into the composition of particular kinds of music. Thus from 1833 until 1839 he concentrated on piano music (his Opp. 1–23 are all for piano), moving on to the Liederjahr of 1840, when he wrote mostly songs; in 1841 he switched to orchestral music and in 1842 to chamber music; 1843 was his oratorio year. In 1845 his focus was on works with a contrapuntal basis, and in 1847–48 he produced music for the stage, devoting his efforts in 1849–50 to music for domestic performance. The last of these ‘waves’ came in 1852, which he dedicated to church music; thereafter illness closed in, and composition became first difficult, and then impossible.