Monday, June 8, 2015

robert schumann

Robert Schumann
(June 8, 1810 - July 29, 1856)

This German Romantic composer struggled with music and law on an emotional path that led to madness.  Born in Zwickau, in the Kingdom of Saxony, he displayed a proficiency for music at a very young age, composing his own pieces and writing essays on the aesthetics of music.  When his father died in 1836, Robert struggled with his mother to continue his study of music.  When he was sent to  Leipzig University to study law, he neglected his studies to pursue the cultural life of the city.  After transferring to Heidelberg University, he found his musical passions rekindled when he saw a performance by Niccolò Paganini in Frankfurt.    It was then that he convinced his mother to let him study music with Friedrich Wieck, whose young daughter, Clara, was herself a remarkable pianist.  It was during this time that Schumann developed an affliction of the hand that dashed his hopes of being a concert pianist and led him to pursue composition.  He also contributed to a weekly magazine Neue Zeitschrift für Musik in which he celebrated the music of modern composers like Franz Schubert and  Frédéric Chopin.  

He began an engagement with sixteen-year-old Ernestine von Fricken, but cut it off when he discovered that she would have no dowry.   He then pursued a clandestine relationship with fifteen-year-old Clara Wieck.  Their romance lasted for years until her father discovered their correspondence.  The elder Wieck strongly opposed the match and even sued Schumann when he asked for her Clara's hand; but Wieck lost the suit and the couple were married in September of 1840, one day before her twenty-first birthday.  

 A teaching position at Leipzig Conservatory was compromised by Schumann's bouts with depression and the couple moved to Dresden, where he was able to relax and compose again.   A move to Düsseldorf where Schumann took the position of Director of Music; but was not up to the task.  He began to suffer with ringing in the ears and "angelic voices" that would eventually become much darker, leading to his request to be put in an asylum.  After a failed suicide attempt he was admitted to Endenich asylum near Bonn, where he died in July of 1856 from complication of what some have theorized was syphilis,  mercury poisoning,  chordoid meningioma, or even bipolar disorder.  

Schumann would express:    "Nothing right can be accomplished in art without enthusiasm ... If we were all determined to play the first violin we should never have an ensemble. therefore, respect every musician in his proper place  ...  The painter turns a poem into a painting; the musician sets a picture to music  ...  In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of."

Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op.54(Allegro affettuoso)

Fantasiestücke for Piano & Clarinet

Kinderszenen, Op. 15 

Papillons, Op. 2

Symphony No 1 B flat major Spring Frühlingssinfonie

Album für die jugend, Op. 66

Carnaval, Op. 9

Das Parodies und die Peri 

Geistervariationen (Ghost Variations)


1 Im wunderschonen monat mai 00:00
2 Aus meinen traenen spriessen 01:43
3 Die rose, die lilie, die taube 02:46
4 Wenn ich deine augen seh' 03:18
5 Ich will meine seele tauchen 04:58
6 Im rhein, Im heiligen strome 05:51
7 Ich grolle nicht 08:15
8 Und wuessten's die blumen, die kleinen 10:03
9 Das ist ein floeten und geigen 11:15
10 Hoer' ich das liedchen klingen 12:45
11 Ein juengling liebt ein maedchen 14:55
12 Am leuchtenden sommermorgen 15:55
13 Ich hab' im traum geweinet 18:38
14 Allnaechtlich im traume 21:27
15 Aus alten maerchen 23:13
16 Die alten, Boesen lieder 26:08

17 Morgens steh'ich auf und frage 31:37
18 Es treibt mich hin 32:41
19 Ich Wandelte unter den baeumen 33:56
20 Lieb'lienchen, ligs haendchen 37:28
21 Schoene wiege meiner leiden 38:20
22 Warte, warte, wilder schiffmann 42:17
23 Berg' und burgen schaun herunter 44:15
24 Anfangs wollte'ich fast verzagen 47:53
25 Mit myrten und rosen 49:06

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