Schumann

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, USA, Feb 13, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 361 pages
Robert Schumann is one of the most intriguing-and enigmatic-composers of the nineteenth century. Extraordinarily gifted in both music and literature, many of his compositions were inspired by poetry and novels. For much of his life he was better known as a music critic than as a composer. But whether writing as critic or composer, what he produced was created by him as a reflection of his often turbulent life. Best known was the tempestuous courtship of his future wife, the pianist Clara Wieck. Though marriage and family life seemed to provide a sense of constancy, he increasingly experienced periods of depression and instability. Mounting criticism of his performance as music director at Dusseldorf led to his attempted suicide in 1854. Schumann was voluntarily committed to an insane asylum near Bonn where, despite indications of improvement and dissatisfaction with his treatment, he spent the final two years of his life.Drawing on original research and newly published letters and journals from the time, author Eric Frederick Jensen presents a balanced portrait of the composer with both scholarly authority and engaging clarity. Biographical chapters alternate with discussion of Schumann's piano, chamber, choral, symphonic, and operatic works, demonstrating how the circumstances of his life helped shape the music he wrote. Chronicling the romance of Robert and Clara, Jensen offers a nuanced look at the evolution of their relationship, one that changed dramatically after marriage. He also follows Schumann's creative musical criticism, which championed the burgeoning careers of Chopin, Liszt, and Brahms and challenged the musical tastes of Europe.
 

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Contents

1 Childhood and Youth
3
2 University Years
17
3 Schumann and Literature
38
4 Commitment to Music
56
5 Schumanns Compositions Prior to 1834
77
6 The League of David
102
7 Courtship and Marriage
117
8 The Piano Compositions 183439
136
11 The Years in Dresden
209
12 Schumanns Dramatic Works
228
13 The Years in Düsseldorf
247
14 The Compositions 184554
268
15 Endenich
297
Schumann and Childhood
318
Appendices
329
Index
355

9 Married Life in Leipzig
168
10 The Compositions 184044
186

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About the author (2012)


Eric Frederick Jensen taught at Denison University and the University of Illinois. He has published widely on 19th- and early 20th-century music, including in The Journal of Musicology, The Musical Quarterly, The Musical Times, and Music & Letters. His book, Walls of Circumstance, examined the work of eleven little known 19th-century composers.

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