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Robert Schumann had a difficult start as a composer. Denied any significant musical upbringing, he took a long time through indirect routes to establish himself as a major composer. Persistent illness also dogged his work. His final catastrophic mental collapse has combined with the autobiographical and secretive aspects of his music to cast for posterity a veil of ominous mystery over his entire life. Yet this is only one view. Schumann battled his personal demons and was acutely self-aware and organized. He transformed himself from a brilliant youthful fantasist in small forms into a composer of extended works in every genre. This book provides a new focus on Schumann as a practical working musician interacting with the professional world to develop his creative gifts to the full, and examines the central role of Clara Wieck Schumann in helping to bring this about.Read more
- Gives a new emphasis to the study of Schumann: most recent biographies have either emphasized his illnesses or interpreted his psychology through his music, whereas this is about the composer as a working musician
- Contextualizes Schumann's music in light of the way he became central to emerging musical culture and concert life, emphasizing the value of his often neglected later works
- A detailed and informative study written with a light touch, this will appeal to scholars, performers and concert-goers alike
Reviews & endorsements
"Michael Musgrave's new biography is a welcome corrective to the trend, for while it presents a detailed and lively account of the life, it keeps the main musical issues in clear view."
--Music and Letters
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- Date Published: June 2011
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521802482
- length: 236 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.42kg
- contains: 16 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Preface: inherited images
1. A favourable upbringing: Zwickau, 1810–28
2. Undirected student: Leipzig and Heidelburg, 1828–30
3. A career in music: Leipzig, 1830–5
4. The Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Clara and new horizons: Leipzig, 1835–40
5. Married life: Leipzig, 1840–4
6. Growing ambitions: Dresden, 1844–50
7. Triumph and decline: Düsseldorf, 1850–4
8. The end:
Perspective and legacy
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