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Schumann, Robert - À l'étoile du soir, 'An den Abendstern', op. - 2 voices & piano
Spanisches Liederspiel, Op. Liebesgram Alicia Ayala. Die Meere Alicia Ayala. Klosterfraulein Alicia Ayala. Phanomen Alicia Ayala. Gruss Alicia Ayala. Kaufmann and H. Heinrich : No. Endenich, near Bonn, July 29, He was the fifth and youngest child of a Saxon bookseller, who encouraged his musical inclinations.
At about the age of 7, he began taking piano lessons from J. Kuntzsch, organist at the Zwickau Marienkirche. In he enrolled at the Univ. In Leipzig he became a piano student of Friedrich Wieck, his future father-in-law. In he went to Heidelberg, where he applied himself seriously to music. He also took a course in composition with Heinrich Dorn. His family life was unhappy; his father died at the age of 53 of a nervous disease not distinctly diagnosed, and his sister Emily at the age of 19, most likely a suicide.
Of his 3 brothers, only one reached late middle age. Schumann wrote plays and poems in the Romantic tradition and at the same time practiced his piano playing in the hope of becoming a virtuoso pianist. His own piano study was halted when he developed an ailment in the index and middle fingers of his right hand. He tried all the fashionable remedies of the period, allopathy, homeopathy, and electrophysical therapy; in addition, he used a mechanical device to lift the middle finger of his right hand, but it only caused him harm.
His damaged fingers exempted him from military service; the medical certificate issued in stated that the index and middle fingers of his right hand were affected so that he was unable to pull the trigger of a rifle. Schumann had a handsome appearance; he liked the company of young women, and enjoyed beer, wine, and strong cigars; this was in sharp contrast with his inner disquiet.
As a youth, he confided to his diary a fear of madness. He had auditory hallucinations which caused insomnia, and he also suffered from acrophobia. When he was 23 years old, he noted sudden onsets of inexpressible angst, momentary loss of consciousness, and difficulty in breathing. He called his sickness a pervasive melancholy, a popular malaise of the time.
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He thought of killing himself. What maintained his spirits then was his great love for Clara, 9 years his junior; he did not hesitate to confess his psychological perturbations to her. In , when Schumann and Clara already had 2 daughters, Wieck approached him with an offer of reconciliation. Schumann gladly accepted the offer, but the relationship remained only formal.
As a young man he wrote music full of natural beauty, harmonious and melodious in its flow. His very first opus number was a set of variations on the notes A, B, E, G, G, which spelled the name of Countess Meta von Abegg, to whom he was also poetically attached. In he founded, with J. Knorr, L. He wrote essays, signing them with the imaginary names of Florestan, Eusebius, or Meister Raro.
As early as , Schumann, in the guise of Eusebius, hailed the genius of Chopin in an article in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung ; it was signed only by his initials, and in an editorial note, he was identified merely as a young student of Prof. Actually, Chopin was a few months older than Schumann, and had already started on a brilliant concert career, while Schumann was an unknown. A child at heart himself, he created in his piano set of exquisite miniatures, Kinderszenen , a marvelous musical masterpiece which included the beautifully sentimental dream piece Traumerei.
Parallel with his piano works, Schumann produced some of his finest lieder, including the song cycles to poems by Heine op. In , in only 4 days, he sketched out his First Sym. It was followed in rapid succession by 3 string quartets op. Three more syms. In Schumann was asked by Mendelssohn to join him as a teacher of piano, composition, and score reading at the newly founded Cons.
In he and Clara undertook a concert tour to Russia. In the autumn of they moved to Dresden, remaining there until To this period belong his great C major Sym.
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- À l'étoile du soir, 'An den Abendstern', op. 103 - 2 voices & piano.
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In he assumed the conducting post of the Liedertafel, and in organized the Chorgesang-Verein in Dresden. In he also completed a Violin Concerto.
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The concerto was first performed in Berlin on Nov. On Feb. On March 4, , he was placed, at his own request, in a sanatorium at Endenich, near Bonn, remaining there until the end of his life. Strangely, he did not want to see Clara, and there were months when he did not even inquire about her and the children. But Brahms was a welcome visitor, and Schumann enjoyed his company durine his not infrequent periods of lucidity. See F. As both man and musician, Schumann is recognized as the quintessential artist of the Romantic era in German music.
He was a master of lyric expression and dramatic power, perhaps best revealed in his outstanding piano music and songs. His syms. Zwickau, Nov. U3 ; Sonata No. Goethe; —53; Cologne, Jan. Zimmermann ; 3 Gedichte , op.
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Christern; ; 4, Auf dem Rhein K. Immermann; ; 5, Liebeslied Goethe; ; Romanzen und Balladen , op. Lorenz ; 3, Der arme Feter Heine ; Belsatzar , op. Kreisig, A judicious selection from the complete writings, ed. Simon, was pub1, under the same title as the original edition 3 vols.
Rosenfeld, was publ. A new critical ed.
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