Robert Schumann was a true romantic. He displayed this in his
poetry, his art and especially his music. Although his life was
plagued with death and mental instability , his music dissipates an
aura of tranquility upon us. His brothers all died young, and one
of his sisters, Emilie, drowned herself at the age of 20. Many
believe that there was a family curse upon their name. Whether that
is true is still quite debatable.
Robert Schumann was born in Germany on June 8th, 1810. His early childhood held no hint of the upcoming tragedy for him and his family. His family was not poor, or abusive. Actually, they were quite normal. At the age of six, Schumann wrote a few immature pieces. However, he did have a love for music and by the age of eleven, he was conducting the school band. Schumann's father died early, and his mother had him whisked away to law school. After deciding that music was his calling, he quit law school and learned to play the piano. His first instructor promised him that he would make him a virtuoso. Instead he crippled one of Schumann's fingers for life using an invention that was designed to strengthen it. Nonetheless, through this instructor, he met Clara, who he would go on to marry.
Although neither parents agreed, they both wrote music to each other to express their love for each other. Schumann's Sonata in f minor is known as his heart's cry for her. After their marriage, Schumann celebrated with a year's worth of songs of happiness. In 1841, he wrote his first symphony as well as a great portion of his chamber music. Within these pieces is his Piano Quintet in Eb, op.44, a member of The Fifteen Greatest.
As Schumann's mental capacity deteriorated, he began to have
hallucinations. In 1854, he bade farewell to his wife and threw
himself into the Rhine. He was rescued and put into a sanitorium.
Two years later, after almost losing control of his limns, he died
on July 29th, 1856.
His Famous Compositions
Schumann created many notable pieces of work. Schumann wrote
three string quartets in 1842, a fertile period that saw also the
composition of the Piano Quintet in Eb, op.44 and a Piano Quartet in Eb, op.44.
Other important chamber
music by Schumann includes three piano trios, three violin
sonatas and a number of shorter character-pieces that include the
Märchenbilder for viola and piano, collections of his piano
solos. His four symphonies are also very good and his cello
concerto is absolutely divine.
Other links of interest: