Clara Schumann

Clara Schumann Music Recordings

  • Born
    13th September 1819
  • Died
    20th May 1896
  • Birthplace
    Leipzig, Germany

Clara Schumann was a German musician and composer, considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. She exerted her influence over a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public. Her husband was the composer Robert Schumann. She and her husband encouraged Johannes Brahms, and she was the first pianist to give public performances of some of Brahms' works, notably the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel. As part of the broad musical education given her by her father, Clara Wieck learned to compose, and from childhood to middle age she produced a good body of work. At age fourteen she wrote her piano concerto, with some help from Robert Schumann, and performed it at age sixteen at the Leipzig Gewandhaus with Mendelssohn conducting. As she grew older, however, she lost confidence in herself as a composer, writing, "I once believed that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose — there has never yet been one able to do it. Should I expect to be the one?" In fact, Wieck-Schumann composed nothing after the age of thirty-six. Today her compositions are increasingly performed and recorded. Her works include songs, piano pieces, a piano concerto, a piano trio, choral pieces, and three Romances for violin and piano. Inspired by her husband's birthday, the three Romances were composed in 1853 and dedicated to Joseph Joachim, who performed them for George V of Hanover. He declared them a "marvellous, heavenly pleasure."

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Instruments Piano
Forms Scherzo · Toccata