Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Donald Macleod asks how Robert and Clara Schumann reconciled their domestic creative tension.

The 1840s was the decade when Robert and Clara Schumann’s married life began, and was the decade in which he established himself as a significant composer.

Schumann’s marriage to Clara gave him the stability he needed, and brought out the best in him as a composer. But the major question was whether the creative tension between the couple could ever be reconciled. Clara's greater fame, her desire to practice at home, and to go away and perform concerts was firmly set against Robert's desire for her to be a wife and home-maker, to leave her public behind.

Today, Donald Macleod looks at how the Schumanns strove to reconcile these seemingly opposing outlooks.

3 Gedichte, Op. 30: No. 3. Der Hidalgo
Thomas E. Bauer, baritone
Uta Hielscher, piano

String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 41, No. 1
I. Introduction: Andante espressivo – Allegro
IV. Presto
Hagen Quartet

Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 16. Die alten, bosen Lieder
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Christoph Eschenbach, piano

Symphony No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 38, "Spring"
I. Andante un poco maestoso - Allegro molto vivace
IV. Allegro animato e grazioso
London Symphony Orchestra
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Frauenliebe und -leben, Op. 42:
No. 6. Susser Freund, du blickest mich verwundert an
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
Bengt Forsberg, piano


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