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ISBN 13: 9780801493881
Return to Book Page. Preview — Clara Schumann by Nancy B. This absorbing and award-winning biography tells the story of the tragedies and triumphs of Clara Wieck Schumann , a musician of remarkable achievements. At once artist, composer, editor, teacher, wife, and mother of eight children, she was an important force in the musical world of her time.
To show how Schumann surmounted the obstacles facing female artists in This absorbing and award-winning biography tells the story of the tragedies and triumphs of Clara Wieck Schumann , a musician of remarkable achievements. To show how Schumann surmounted the obstacles facing female artists in the nineteenth century, Nancy B.
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Reich has drawn on previously unexplored primary sources: unpublished diaries, letters, and family papers, as well as concert programs. Going beyond the familiar legends of the Schumann literature, she applies the tools of musicological scholarship and the insights of psychology to provide a new, full-scale portrait. The book is divided into two parts.
In Part One, Reich follows Clara Schumann's life from her early years as a child prodigy through her marriage to Robert Schumann and into the forty years after his death, when she established and maintained an extraordinary European career while supporting and supervising a household and seven children. Part Two covers four major themes in Schumann's life: her relationship with Johannes Brahms and other friends and contemporaries; her creative work; her life on the concert stage; and her success as a teacher. Throughout, excerpts from diaries and letters in Reich's own translations clear up misconceptions about her life and achievements and her partnership with Robert Schumann.
Highlighting aspects of Clara Schumann's personality and character that have been neglected by earlier biographers, this candid and eminently readable account adds appreciably to our understanding of a fascinating artist and woman. For this revised edition, Reich has added several photographs and updated the text to include recent discoveries.
She has also prepared a Catalogue of Works that includes all of Clara Schumann's known published and unpublished compositions and works she edited, as well as descriptions of the autographs, the first editions, the modern editions, and recent literature on each piece. The Catalogue also notes Schumann's performances of her own music and provides pertinent quotations from letters, diaries, and contemporary reviews.
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Jan 18, Frank Thompson rated it it was amazing. What amazed me about Clara Schumann was how much she managed to do, she gave regular concert tours, had 7 children, walked for an hour every day and answered every letter she received by hand of course often spending several hours a day on her correspondence, she produced editions of her husband's work, and also found time to write quite a lot of music of her own. I felt sad after reading it about the amount of time I spend staring at computers and the fact that I hardly write by hand at all t What amazed me about Clara Schumann was how much she managed to do, she gave regular concert tours, had 7 children, walked for an hour every day and answered every letter she received by hand of course often spending several hours a day on her correspondence, she produced editions of her husband's work, and also found time to write quite a lot of music of her own.
I felt sad after reading it about the amount of time I spend staring at computers and the fact that I hardly write by hand at all these days. Liszt's piano music runs to 90 CDs in Howard Shelley's recordings but Liszt not only composed all that music but wrote it out by hand. I remember reading somewhere that if a professional copyist set to work to copy all the works of Bach, the job could not be completed in one lifetime.
Aug 23, Alissa Freeman rated it it was amazing. Reich not only gives us fascinating insight into how Clara became a world-class artist, but also how she had to balance family and other aspects of her life. Well worth reading for music experts and amateurs alike!
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A wonderful book Anyone with an interest in piano music will find this book fascinating, not only for the portrait of an amazing pianist and multifaceted musician who was a pioneer along with Liszt of the modern piano recital, but for the pen portraits of the musicians she worked and performed with including Brahms, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt and of course her husband. Very readable despite the huge amount of research that clearly went into its writing.
Mar 19, Sophia rated it liked it. Always love a good biography. The book was also organized oddly into choppy topical chapters, and I would have preferred everything seamlessly blended into the chronological story of her life. I also think readers with musical expertise would enjoy this because Reich goes into detail about Schumann's compositions and performances. Reich received her Ph. The Life of Clara Schumann 1. Prelude: The Wiecks of Leipzig 2. Career Begins 3. Robert Schumann and the Wiecks 4.
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- Schumann at Pier2 – with Paavo Järvi and The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie of Bremen.
The Break with Wieck 5. Marriage 6.
The Dresden Years 7. Dusseldorf and the Death of Robert Schumann 8. Themes from the Life of Clara Schumann 9. Schumann and Johannes Brahms Friends and Contemporaries Clara Schumann as Composer and Editor The Concert Artist Du kanske gillar. Becoming Michelle Obama Inbunden. Reich stated, "In seeking a modern approach to this great artist, I have examined new sources and reexamined old.
This study has deepened my regard for the artist and the woman; it has also convinced me that she is worthy of the truth" p.
The quest for historical truth was evident throughout the book, as the author provided a more thorough, well-rounded, and realistic portrait of this complex woman than had been available up to that time. The impetus for a revised edition was not a reinterpretation of this portrait, but rather the availability of new sources of documentation that she was unable to use in preparing the first edition. Of these new sources, Reich states, "though they did not change my basic conceptions of the character and personality of Clara Schumann, [they] have informed this revised edition and enriched my understanding and admiration of this remarkable woman" p.
The result is an enlarged and improved version of an excellent study with many of the same strengths and weaknesses as its predecessor. Foremost among the strengths is the delineation of Schumann's character. While pointing out the overwhelming challenges and devastating losses that dogged her entire life, Reich makes no attempt to paint her as a saint or hero.
Rather than offer easy answers to questions such as why Clara visited Robert only once during his two and one-half years in the asylum at Endenich or why she gave her children so little of her time and attention, Reich uses these issues to show the conflicting aspects of her personality. Though the author clearly admires her subject, this admiration is the result of understanding and acceptance of her human frailties as well as her strengths. The principal strategy by which Reich illuminates Clara's personality is the examination of her relationships to others.
In this she is following the lead of previous biographers who have concentrated almost exclusively on her relationships to her father Friedrich Wieck, her husband Robert, and her close friend Brahms.