Libby Johnson

Robert Schumann

Growing Up

Robert Schumann was born on June 8, 1810 in Zwickau, Germany. He had a very supportive father, who got him a tutor when he was very young to further his apparent skills in both literature and in music. He entered Zwickau Gymnasium at the young age of ten and began to further develop his literature and poetry skills. He entered the Gymnasium when he was 10 years old, and was enrolled into Leipzig University after his father's death. Although he was enrolled in the law program, Schumann submersed himself into the music and literature programs. He later enrolled in Heidelberg University and took up music full-time. He became a student of the famous pianist, Friedrech Wieck. Schumann's mother placed her son under Wiech's care to help deepen his piano skill and technique. Unfortunately, Schumann's obsession with finger technique led to his hand sustaining muscle damage that was so bad, his third finger was useless for the rest of his life. Robert then took up composition.

Early Career

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Schumann first began to write pieces when he was seven years old. He was able to publish some of his first piano pieces, Papillons, Op. 2 and the Paganini Caprices, and Op. 3, at the age of 22. With the launch of Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, a weekly magazine that began through several Leipzig musicians who wanted to crush the opinions of the Leipzig critics, Schumann was able to get his musical critics out. Through him, Schubert, a deceased and almost forgotten composer, was remembered and revered through out Germany. He composed piano music exclusively for several years, as he tried to win over the affections of Clara Wieck, his piano teacher's daughter. And after the overwhelming outburst of lieder, Robert finally sat down and composed his first symphony. Around this time, he married Clara and had their first child. Later, in the Spring of 1841, Schumann premiered his Spring Symphony. In 1843, Mendelssohn asked Schumann to teach in his new Leipzig Conservatory. Schumann turned out to be a horrible teacher, occasionally sitting through an entire class without saying anything to his students, and resigned from his post in 1844.

Later Career and Life

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In 1843, Schumann composed and premiered his choral works Das Parodies and Die Peri. Both became very successful in Leipzig and in Dresden. However, in 1844, Schumann had a full-scale collapse. Schumann experienced a frightening amount of physical distress, temporary blindness, frequent vertigo, and severe depression. He resigned from his post on Neue Zeitschrift, and by the end of the summer Schumann became to weak to walk. He suffered many sleepless nights and would often have horrifying hallucinations. In an effort to help her husband, Clara moved the family to Dresden. Initially, the slower pace of life helped. Schumann was able to compose with a renewed vigor. He wrote his only piano concerto and a second symphony. He was inspired by a neighbor to compose an opera, the result of which was Genoveva, which premiered in 1850. Schumann later accepted the position of Direktor der Musik in Düsseldorf. But the stresses of his new job and frequent absences due to illness caused Schumann to resign in 1853. He began to furiously compose new pieces. Schumann began his collapse into insanity in 1852. He was later entered into Endenich asylum after an attempted suicide. He died in 1856 after being fed wine and gelèe by Clara, which was considered an act of blessed release by many of his close friends.

Published Works Arranged by Opus Number (148 total)

1 “Abegg” Variations (pf) [1830] 2 Papillons (pf) [1832] 3 Studies after Caprices by Paganini (pf) [1832] 4 6 Intermezzi (pf) [1832] 5 Impromptus on a Theme by Clara Wieck (pf) [1833] 6 Davidsbündlertänze (pf) [1837] 7 Toccata in C (pf) [1832] 8 Allegro in b (pf) [1831] 9 Carnaval (pf) [1834-5] 10 6 Concert Studies on Caprices by Paganini (pf) [1833] 11 Piano Sonata #1 in f# [1833-5] 12 Fantasiestücke (pf) [1837] 13 Symphonic Études (pf) [1834, 2nd version 1852] 14 Piano Sonata #3 in f [1835-6; rev. 1853] 15 Kinderszenen (pf) [1838] 16 Kreisleriana (pf) [1838] 17 Fantasy in C (pf) [1836] 18 Arabeske in C (pf) [1839] 19 Blumenstück in Db (pf) [1839] 20 Humoreske in Bb (pf) [1839] 21 8 Novelletten (pf) [1838] 22 Piano Sonata #2 in g [1835-8] 23 4 Nachtstücke (pf) [1839] 24 Song cycle, “Liederkreis” (not to be confused with Op. 39) [1840] 25 Song cycle, “Myrthen” [1840] 26 Faschingsschwank aus Wien (pf) [1839] 27 Lieder und Gesänge, Vol. I (5 songs) [1840] 28 3 Romances (pf) [1839] 29 3 Gedichte (vocal quartets w/pf) [1840] 30 3 Gedichte (songs) [1840] 31 3 Gesänge (songs) [1840] 32 4 Klavierstücke (pf) [1838-9] 33 6 Lieder (part-songs for men's voices w/pf ad lib) [1840] 34 4 Duets for soprano & tenor w/pf [1840] 35 12 Gedichte (songs) [1840] 36 6 Gedichte (songs) [1840] 37 Gedichte aus “Liebesfrühling” (12 songs, but nos. 2, 4, 11 are by Clara Schumann) [1840] 38 Symphony #1 in Bb, “Spring” [1841] 39 Song cycle, “Liederkreis” (not to be confused with Op. 24) [1840] 40 5 Lieder (songs) [1840] 41 3 string quartets in a, F, A [1842] 42 Song cycle, “Frauenliebe und leben” [1840] 43 3 zweistimmige Lieder (duets w/pf) [1840] 44 Piano Quintet in Eb [1842] 45 Romanzen und Balladen, Vol. I (3 songs) [1840] 46 Andante & Variations in Bb (2 pfs; orig. version for 2 pfs, 2 vcs, hn) [1843] 47 Piano Quartet in Eb [1842] 48 Song cycle, “Dichterliebe” [1840] 49 Romanzen und Balladen, Vol. II (3 songs) [1840] 50 Oratorio, Das Paradies und die Peri [1841-3] 51 Lieder und Gesänge, Vol. II (5 songs) [1842] 52 Overture, Scherzo & Finale in E [1840] 53 Romanzen und Balladen, Vol. III (3 songs) [1840] 54 Piano Concerto in a [1841 (1st mvmt) & 1845 (2nd & 3rd mvmts)] 55 5 Lieder (part-songs for mixed voices) [1846] 56 6 Studies for the pedal piano [1845] 57 Ballad, “Belsatzar” [1840] 58 6 Sketches for the pedal piano [1845] 59 4 Gesänge (part-songs for mixed voices) [1846] 60 6 Fugues on B-A-C-H for organ or pedal piano [1845] 61 Symphony #2 in C [1845-6] 62 3 Gesänge (part-songs for men's voices w/pf ad lib) [1847] 63 Piano Trio #1 in d [1847] 64 Romanzen und Balladen, Vol. IV (3 songs) [1841-7] 65 Ritornelle in canonischen Weisen (7 canonic part-songs for men's voices w/pf ad lib) [1847] (3 more part-songs, one with ad lib wind band accompaniment, are also identified as Op. 65) [1848] 66 Bilder aus Osten (pf 4h) [1848] 67 Romanzen und Balladen, Vol. I (5 part-songs for mixed voices) [1849] 68 Album für die Jugend (pf) [1848] 69 Romanzen, Vol. I (6 part-songs for women's voices w/pf ad lib) [1849] 70 Adagio & Allegro in Ab for hn & pf [1849] 71 “Adventlied” for soprano, chorus, orch. [1848] 72 4 Fugues (pf) [1845] 73 Fantasiestücke for clar & pf [1849] 74 Spanisches Liederspiel (3 songs, 5 duets, 2 quartets) [1849] 75 Romanzen und Balladen, Vol. II (5 part-songs for mixed voices) [1849] 76 4 Marches (pf) [1849] 77 Lieder und Gesänge, Vol. III (5 songs) [1841-50] 78 4 Duets for soprano & tenor w/pf [1849] 79 Liederalbum für die Jugend (29 songs) [1849] 80 Piano Trio #2 in F [1847] 81 Genoveva [1847-50] 82 Waldszenen (pf) [1848-9] 83 3 Gesänge (songs) [1850] 84 “Beim Abschied zu singen” for chorus & winds [1848] 85 12 Klavierstücke for kleine und große Kinder (pf 4h) [1849] 86 Konzertstück in F for 4 hns & orch [1849] 87 Ballad, “Der Handschuh” [1850] 88 Fantasiestücke for pf, vn, vc [1842] 89 6 Gesänge (songs) [1850] 90 6 Gedichte (songs) [1850] 91 Romanzen, Vol. II (6 part-songs for women's voices w/pf ad lib) [1849] 92 Konzertstück (or Introduction & Allegro appassionato) in F for pf & orch [1849] 93 Motet, “Verzweifle nicht im Schmerzenstal” for double chorus w/organ ad lib [1849, orch. 1852] 94 3 Romances for oboe & pf [1849] 95 3 Gesänge (songs) [1849] 96 Lieder und Gesänge, Vol. IV [1850] 97 Symphony #3 in Eb, “Rhenish” [1850] 98A Lieder und Gesänge aus “Wilhelm Meister” [1849] 98B Requiem für Mignon (solo voices, chorus, and orchestra) [1849] 99 Bunte Blätter (pf) [1836-49] 100 Bride of Messina Overture in c [1850-1] 101 Minnespiel (4 songs, 2 duets, 2 quartets) [1849] 102 5 Stücke im Volkston for vc & pf [1849] 103 Mädchenlieder for 2 women's voices & pf (4 duets) [1851] 104 7 Lieder [1851] 105 Violin Sonata #1 in a [1851] 106 Declamation w/pf, “Schön Hedwig” [1849] 107 6 Gesänge (songs) [1851-2] 108 “Nachtlied” for chorus & orch. [1849] 109 Ball-Scenen (orig. “Kinderball”; see Op. 130) (pf 4h) [1851] 110 Piano Trio #3 in g [1851] 111 Fantasiestücke (pf) [1851] 112 Oratorio, Der Rose Pilgerfahrt [1851] 113 Märchenbilder for vla & pf [1849] 114 3 Lieder für 3 Frauenstimmen (vocal trios w/pf) [1853] 115 Overture & incidental music, Manfred [1848-9] 116 “Der Königssohn” (I think this is another oratorio) [1851] 117 4 Husarenlieder (songs) [1851] 118 3 Clavier-Sonaten für die Jugend (pf) [1853] 119 3 Gedichte (songs) [1851] 120 Symphony #4 in d [1841, revised 1851] 121 Violin Sonata #2 in d [1851] 122 Declamation w/pf: “Ballade vom Heideknaben” & “Die Flüchlinge” [1852] 123 Festival Overture on the “Rheinweinlied” for orch. w/chorus [1853] 124 Albumblätter (pf) [1832-45] 125 5 heitere Gesänge (songs) [1851] 126 7 Clavierstücke in Fughettenform (pf) [1853] 127 5 Lieder und Gesänge [1850-1] 128 Julius Caesar Overture in f [1851] 129 Cello Concerto in a [1850] 130 Kinderball (pf 4h) [1853] 131 Fantasy in C for vn & orch 132 Märchenerzählungen for pf, clar, vla [1853] 133 Gesänge der Frühe (pf) [1853] 134 Introduction & Allegro in d/D for pf & orch [1853] 135 Gedichte der Königin Maria Stuart (5 songs) [1852] 136 Hermann und Dorothea Overture in b [1851] 137 Jagdlieder (5 part-songs for men's voices w/4 hns ad lib) [1849] 138 Spanische Liebes-Lieder (5 songs, 2 duets, 2 quartets, plus piano prelude & intermezzo) [1849] 139 “Des Sängers Fluch” for solo voice, chorus, orch. [1852] 140 “Vom Pagen und der Königstochter” (solo voice, chorus, and orchestra) [1852] 141 4 doppelchörige gesänge (part-songs for mixed voices) [1849] 142 4 Gesänge (songs) [1852] 143 “Das Glück von Edenhall” (solo voice, chorus, and orchestra) [1852] 144 “Neujahrslied” for chorus & orch. [1849-50] 145 Romanzen und Balladen, Vol. III (5 part-songs for mixed voices) [1849-51] 146 Romanzen und Balladen, Vol. IV (5 part-songs for mixed voices) [1849] 147 Mass (chorus and orchestra) [1852] 148 Requiem (chorus and orchestra) [1852] Copyright © 2000, Douglas C. Briscoe.

Vocabulary

Romantische Periode: Romantic Period

Neue Zeitschrift für Musik: New periodical for music

Lieder: Songs

Gesänge: Songs

Direktor der Musik: Director of Music

References

ger/101/2010/fall/libby_johnson.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/18 07:44 (external edit)
 
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