Clara Wieck Schuman Essay, Research Paper
Clara Wieck Schumann
Clara Schumann was born in Liepzig Germany on September 13, 1819 and died on May 20, 1896. Clara’s parents were Friedrich Wieck, a music teacher who married one of his students, a soprano named Marianne. Clara’s father made claims before she was even born that she would be a great musician and child prodigy. Her first public appearance was at age nine, and her first piano recital, age eleven. She performed and studied piano, voice, violin, instrumentation, score reading, counterpoint, and composition. She wrote and published several pieces for solo piano. Robert Schumann came to live and study with Wieck in 1830, and asked permission to marry Clara seven years later. Wieck objected and did all he could to prevent the wedding before Clara’s 21st birthday when she would be legally able without his consent. Robert and Clara filed a lawsuit and won, but out of spite went ahead and married the day before her birthday. They had eight children: Marie, Elise, Julie, Emil, Ludwig, Ferdidnand, Eugenie, and Felix. Robert’s mental health was poor and following a suicide attempt in 1854, he was committed to an asylum. He is said to have suffered from manic depression and psychosis. He died in this asylum in 1856.
Although Clara’s ambitions as a concert pianist and composer were hindered by all these responsibilities of family, Clara moved to Berlin in 1857 where she performed, taught and edited Robert’s works and letters. Her playing was characterized by technical mastery, thoughtful interpretation, poetic spirit, depth of feeling, a singing tone, and strict observance of the composer’s markings. All her compositions date from 1853 or before including 29 songs, 3 partsongs, 4 pieces for piano and orchestra, 20 pieces for solo piano, and cadenzas for 3 piano concertos by Beethoven and Mozart.
Clara was buried next to Robert forty years later . The monument above the shared grave at the Alter Friedhof in Bonn depicts Clara at the grave of her husband.