Robert and Clara Schumann

Wednesday, June 09, 2010 - 10:38 PM

This week marks the 200th anniversary of Robert Schumann's birth, which we've been celebrating all week long on WQXR. Robert Schumann was well known for writing music and prose--in addition to being a composer, he was also a music critic and journalist. But it's clear that Robert Schumann would not have had nearly the success he did if he hadn't married Clara Wieck, a highly talented pianist and composer who served as his partner and muse.

For a Studio 360 program about couples a few years back, I created this piece about Robert and Clara Schumann, and their extraordinary partnershuip.  I had a lot of fun working on it--I hope you enjoy it.

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Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

In musical history the female muse has granted the inspiration for some of the supreme masterpieces of great composers. Wagner had his Madame Mathilde Wesendonck who inspired his writing Tristan und Isolde and from whose poetry he wrote the Wesendonck Lieder with exciting music for the voice and its orchestral accompaniment. I have performed the Complete Lieder on each of my 3 last main hall Carnegie Hall solo concerts. Chopin had his lover, the famed female writer George Sand, who adopted the masculine nom de plume to get published. Tschaikovsky had Madame von Meck, without whose financial support his most famous symphonies might not have been written, he was in such dire straits money-wise. Now, Schumann was by far the luckiest. His wife, a famous spectacularly gifted pianist Clara Wieck Schumann besides being his muse was also a champion of his ouvre. Kenneth Bennett Lane, Wagnerian heldentenor and opera composer: "Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"

Jun. 26 2010 08:43 PM

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