Robert Schumann

Born 8 June 1810. Died 29 July 1856.

German classical composer

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The Romantic Horn

Charles Hazlewood considers the significance of the horn to early Romantic composers.

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Biography

Robert Schumann (8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.

Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Kinderszenen, Album für die Jugend, Blumenstück, Sonatas and Albumblätter are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.

In 1840, against the wishes of her father, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Szenen aus Goethes Faust (feat. conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt; feat. orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)

    Szenen aus Goethes Faust (feat. conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt; feat. orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) 2009

    Reviewed by Michael Quinn
    A ravishing new account; a lithe and lyrically rich labour of love.
  2. Review of Symphony No. 1 and Overtures

    Symphony No. 1 and Overtures 2008

    Reviewed by Andrew McGregor
    It's as refreshing and stimulating as that icy plunge after a sauna
  3. Review of Symphonies

    Symphonies 2004

    Reviewed by Andrew McGregor
    Zinman and his Zurich players work hard to keep all the detail and transparency by...
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