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Robert Schumann Essay Notes

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Autor:  anton  11 November 2010
Tags:  Robert,  Schumann
Words: 321   |   Pages: 2
Views: 430


Born in Germany

Son of a bookseller who loved literature

Mother made him study law

Wanted to be a pianist

Finally convinced his mother to let him go to U of Leipzig to study with Friedrich Wieck

Practiced hard, but had physical difficulties

Fingers in right hand ended hopes as a performer

Turned to composing

Established an important publication

Neue Zeitschrift fГјr Musik

The New Journal for Music

Became the leading journals of music criticism in Europe

Began to court Clara Wieck (composer), his piano teacher’s daughter

Her father opposed the marriage

Became even psychopathic about the objection

The two appealed the courts and married anyway (Clara was 21, Robert was 30) in 1840

1840 was the ***Liederjahr***

The Year of the Song

Schumann produced over 100 of his Lieder in that one year

Clara – performed Robert’s piano works and contributed to the spread of his fame

Robert became very moody, however, and began to isolate himself from the world

1844, Robert had a severe breakdown

Couple moved to Dresden to help him recover

Seemed to help at first, but periods of depression returned more frequently

1850, Robert was appointed Music Director at DГјsseldorf, but was forced to quit because he was not suited for public life.

Experienced hallucinations

Story of him rising in the middle of the night to write down a theme that had been brought to him by the spirits of Schubert and Mendelssohn

This was his last melody

A week later, in a fit of depression, he threw himself into the Rhine River.

He was rescued by a Fisherman

Clara had to place him in a private asylum

Eventually got syphilis and died at age 46

A True Romantic

Piano pieces

Impassioned melody

Novel changes in harmony

Driving rhythms

Characteristic Titles:

FantasiestГјcke (Fantasy Pieces)


Scenes from Childhood

Often attached literary meanings to his music

Fond of cycles of short pieces

Connected by a literary theme

First 4 symphonies

Romantic in feeling

Esp 1st and 4th – lyric freshness


Second only to Schubert

Common theme – LOVE

Particularly from a woman’s point of view

Heine was his favorite poet

(Remember Goethe was Schubert’s favorite)

Esp. notable – his several song cycles

A Poet’s Love

A Woman’s Love and Life

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