10 Feb 2006

Remembering Schumann

According to Charles K. Moss, "Robert Schumann was one of the driving forces of the young Romantic movement in Germany. And like many in his generation, Schumann did not seem destined to become a composer, let alone one who would be so influential in the development of a new style. But music became all-important to Schumann, and he displayed multiple talents as a performer, composer, and literary exponent of Romanticism, championing new composers and their works and influencing the musical tastes of a generation." This year marks the 150th anniversary of Schumann's death.

Smitten with Schumann

[The Guardian, 10 February 2006]

Julius Drake first discovered the German composer at age 12. It was the start of an obsession that opened up a whole new world for the pianist

The music of Robert Schumann is very close to my heart. Playing his piano parts I often feel as though I'm improvising them - inventing the music as I go along. I'm sure thousands of others do too: this is the astonishing power of the music. It's as vivid, fresh and vital now as when he wrote it, more than 150 years ago. But then that's a pretty good definition of all great art - it doesn't age. Even so, with Schumann it's the improvisatory quality of the music that is so inspiring. He was, more than anything else, an improviser, and the piano was his instrument.

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There's madness in his music

By Neil Fisher [Times Online, 10 February 2006]

It's Schumann's anniversary this year, too. Our correspondent profiles the sensitive composer who died destitute in a lunatic asylum

In their anniversary years we idolise Mozart for his fluency; we struggle with Shostakovich for his tussles with Stalin. But how best to mark 150 years since the death of Robert Schumann? Delve into the tragic demise of Schumann, at the age of 46, and you hit the blank, unromantic wall of mental illness: the composer died of self-starvation after two years in a German mental asylum.

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