Lebrecht on Schumann

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Charles
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Lebrecht on Schumann

Post by Charles » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:41 am

Norman Lebrecht wonders why the 150th anniversary of Schumann's death occasions no celebrations even remotely comparable to the 250th of Mozart's
birth, and answers that it is because Schumann scares us as an exemplar of the Romantic union of love and death. The short summary of Schumann's life and importance is vivid and lively as usual with Lebrecht.

In slight condradiction, I've listened to a number of lieder cycles recently, by Brahms, Mahler and Schubert in addition to Schumann. In ALL of them, not just in Schumann, love is unrequited and the narrator mentions the desirability of death.


http://www.scena.org/columns/lebrecht/0 ... L-mad.html

karlhenning
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Post by karlhenning » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:48 am

It is a great article, isn't it, Charles? :-)
Karl Henning, PhD
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Cyril Ignatius
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Schumann songs

Post by Cyril Ignatius » Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:11 pm

I would like to hear a good assessment of the differences/similarities between Schumann's and Schubert's Lieder.

I've been listening to Schubert's for a long time - Wintereisse, Maid of the Mill song cycles, and always, the Ave Maria and Erlkonig, etc. I've been playing a good number of his songs on harmonica for years. I am much less familiar with Schumann's lieder, although I do have a recording of his songs that I've played a number of times.
Cyril Ignatius

Donald Isler
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Post by Donald Isler » Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:33 am

Yes, a very interesting article. I'm surprised I never thought about this being the 150th year of Schumann's death. It would be nice to have more attention paid to him, too! I read the Ostwald Schumann biography last year (some time after reading Nancy Reich's excellent Clara Schumann biography) and considering how "messed up" he was physically and mentally, it's amazing Schumann produced anything, let alone all the great works he created.
Donald Isler

lmpower
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Post by lmpower » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:42 am

Charles, thanks so much for that article. Can someone explain to me why Schumann didn't infect Clara? Schumann's songs are more meaningful to me than his symphonies. However, his cello concerto really hits home. The slow movement especially sinks into a beautiful relaxed despair. He seems to say I'm finished but life is still beautiful, rather than raging against cruel fate.

Harvested Sorrow
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:56 pm

Excellent article, and I too have to wonder why I didn't recognize it as the anniversary of his death.

karlhenning
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Post by karlhenning » Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:29 pm

lmpower wrote:Charles, thanks so much for that article. Can someone explain to me why Schumann didn't infect Clara?
I beg your pardon?
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Werner
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Post by Werner » Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:41 pm

If the question does occur, does it matter at this stage?
Werner Isler

Harvested Sorrow
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:00 pm

Do issues of curiosity always have to lead to questions that really matter? :mrgreen:

lmpower
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Post by lmpower » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:43 pm

This reflects a much broader issue. Some people wonder whether the biography of a composer matters. Shouldn't we just relax and enjoy their music without reference to their lives. I consider the composers to be my friends who have shared their feelings with me, therefore I want to understand them as people. If Schumann didn't pass syphilis on to his family, it makes me wonder if he really had it. I have read in a couple of sources that he did have that disease, so I just naturally wondered about it.

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:58 am

Many Schumann celebrations here in Germany are beginning. Zwickau has a tremendous program planned. I understand new recordings of lesser-known works are also ahead.

Mozart's "month" was January. They almost overdid a good thing. Wolfgang was even in t.v. ads!

Schumann's will be in July (the 29th to be exact). Germans don't want to honor the great composer's death-day until it's practically upon us. There's been more recently in radio about Heinrich Heine than about Schumann, since Heine died this month 150 years ago.

The year is still as fresh as the "Frühlings-Sinfonie". Good things are still in the mill....

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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