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Robert Schumann


born Zwickau, Saxony, 8 June 1810, died Endenich near Bonn, 29. July 1856.

German composer and music critic. While best remembered for his piano music and songs, and some of his symphonic and chamber works, Schumann made significant contributions to all the musical genres of his day and cultivated a number of new ones as well. His dual interest in music and literature led him to develop a historically informed music criticism and a compositional style deeply indebted to literary models. A leading exponent of musical Romanticism, he had a powerful impact on succeeding generations of European composers.

When one talks about the composer Robert Schumann, his piano works are usually mentioned in the same breath. To be sure, he was also able to attain enduring fame with many other compositions, yet he is still identified with his piano music, which like hardly any other has become the quintessence of musical Romanticism. In contrast to his first twenty-three published works, which all belong to the area of piano music, Schumann devoted his earliest preserved attempts to the voice. Significantly, the musical material from some of these songs later found employment, with small modifications, in the printed piano pieces. New designations for the short genre piece of the Romantic era come into being, literary and musical allusions as well as distinctly autobiographical analogies are characteristic, added programmatic titles or underlaid poem texts are planned and often subsequently expunged. Schumann’s early piano works also correspond extraordinarily closely to the course of the relationship to the young Clara Wieck. Without the knowledge of these interrelationships, many a composition is hardly to be understood. Schumann’s whole piano oeuvre offers a broad palette of diverse forms, musical finesses, influences, and effects. Schumann, who all his life was considered rather taciturn, remarked already in young years about himself that he talks “almost not at all, in the evening more, and on the piano the most.”

Irmgard Knechtges-Obrecht, TRO-SACD 01430-Booklettext


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(28.01.2015 - 20:25 Uhr)

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