Robert Schumann, one of the most beloved composers of the Romantic movement, embodied the passion and imaginative spirit of his age. Known for his musical and literary genius and his legendary romance with his wife Clara, Schumann was also plagued with debilitative bouts of depression that led him to live his last days in a German mental asylum. This important new biography recreates the dynamics of this man and his music with unprecedented range, offering new insight into his final years and his lasting musical achievements. Drawing on Schumann's recently published journals, letters, and new research, author Eric Jensen renders a balanced portrait of the composer with both scholarly authority and engaging clarity. Biographical chapters alternate with commentary on Schumann's piano, choral, symphonic, and operatic works, demonstrating how the circumstances of his life helped shape the music he wrote at various periods. Chronicling the forbidden romance of Robert and Clara, Jensen offers a nuanced look at the evolution of their relationship. He also follows Schuman's creative musical criticism, which championed the burgeoning careers of Chopin, Liszt, and Brahms and challenged the musical tastes of nineteenth-century Europe. Most importantly, he presents new evidence that Schumann--locked away in the asylum at Endenich--had returned sufficiently to health to justify his removal from confinement a year before his death. Like the innovations of his final compositions from 1845-1854, his sanity was overlooked and misunderstood by his contemporaries. Jensen corrects the historical record, illuminating the tragedy of Schumann's final days and refuting the common dismissal of his final works as the result of an unstable mind. A significant addition to music literature, Schumann is the first authoritative biography of the composer written for general readers as well as music students and historians.
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Childhood and Youth
Schumann and Literature
Commitment to Music
Schumanns Compositions Prior to 1834
The League of David
Courtship and Marriage
The Piano Compositions 183439
Schumanns Dramatic Works
The Years in Diisseldorf
The Compositions 184354
The Poet Speaks Schumann and Childhood
List of Works
Abegg appeared April artist associated attempt August Bach became Beethoven Berlioz Brahms Chopin choral chorus Clara Schumann Clara Wieck completed composer compositions concert created criticism Davidsbund death December described Despite Diisseldorf Dresden Eismann Endenich Entry Ernestine Etudes Faust February Ferdinand Hiller Flechsig Flegeljahre Florestan Friedrich Genoveva German Goethe Hebbel Heidelberg Heine Hiller Hoffmann household books HSHLT Ibid interest January Jean Paul Joachim July June Kapellmeister Kinderszenen Kuntsch later Leipzig Letter Lieder Liszt Litzmann mann mann's March marriage melody Mendelssohn Moritz Hauptmann Moscheles movement musician Musik noted November October opera orchestral overture Paganini Papillons perceived performed Peri pianist Piano Concerto Piano Quartet Piano Sonata pieces poems poetry published reference Richarz Robert Schumann Scherzo Schu Schubert Schumann seemed Schumann wrote Schumann's diary Schumann's music Schuncke September solo songs string quartets Symphony theme Vienna violin virtuoso Wasielewski Wieck writing Zwickau