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Schumann - Piano Music

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) was a central figure of the Romantic era; his life, ideas and works illustrate the idea of Romanticism better than those of almost any other composer, writer or artist.
As a young man he enrolled at the University of Leipzig to study law, but evidently devoted much more time to drinking, socialising, pursuing philosophical discussions and playing music. He studied piano with a respected teacher, Friedrich Wieck, whose highly talented daughter Clara was eventually to fall in love with Robert – to her father´s deep dismay.
Schumann allegedly led a life of dissipation which also aggravated his manic-depressive tendencies. His compulsive use of a finger-strengthening device led to a paralysis of the right hand, making his intended pianist career impossible.
Schumann turned to composing and writing about music. He was one of the founders of the influential Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and though this medium both put words to and greatly influenced the trends in music - one of the most famous early examples was his article in praise of Chopin. In both writings and compositions, Robert gave himself a dual personality: "Florestan" for his impetuous self and "Eusebius" for his contemplative side. Especially in his early composing career, Schumann produced a flood of short, poetic piano pieces, often inspired by his love for Clara Wieck. After years of opposition from her father, the couple finally gained the legal right to marry in 1840. This event started a period of intense creativity in all sorts of genres. First came an outpouring of songs and song-cycles; then, in 1841, Schumann concentrated on symphonies, in 1842 on chamber music, and in 1843 on choral works. After this he had a severe attack of depression and moved to Dresden in search of quiet. Seven years later he became town music director in Düsseldorf . He met with the 20-year-old Brahms in 1853, acclaiming him in an article titled "New Paths". The next year his mental health failed and he threw himself into Rhine but was rescued. After this incident he agreed to enter an asylum, where his condition gradually deteriorated until his death three years later.


Major works:
Orchestral: 4 symphonies, Piano Concerto, Cello Concerto, Violin Concerto
Vocal: Songs and song cycles, e.g. Liederkreis (Heine), Liederkreis (Eichendorff), Dichterliebe, Frauenliebe und -leben
Chamber: Piano Quintet, 2 Piano Quartets, 3 Piano Trios, 3 Violin Sonatas
Piano: Papillons, Carnaval, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana

Quote:
Schumann about Chopin: "Hats off, gentlemen, a genius!"

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Total pieces by Schumann: 179

Collections - Schumann
Schumann - Album for the Young (43 pieces)
Schumann - Album Leaves (20 pieces)
Schumann - Bunte Blätter (14 pieces)
Schumann - Concert-Etudes after Caprices by Paganini (6 pieces)
Schumann - Fantasiestücke (8 pieces)
Schumann - Four Fugues (4 pieces)
Schumann - Four Marches (4 pieces)
Schumann - Four Pieces (4 pieces)
Schumann - Kinderszenen (13 pieces)
Schumann - Morning Songs (5 pieces)
Schumann - Night Visions (4 pieces)
Schumann - Seven Pieces in Fughetta Form (7 pieces)
Schumann - Sonatas for the Young (3 pieces)
Schumann - Studies after Caprices by Paganini (6 pieces)
Schumann - Three Fantasies (3 pieces)
Schumann - Three Romances (3 pieces)
Schumann - Waldszenen (9 pieces)
Schumann - Miscellaneous Pieces (23 pieces)





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Most Popular Composers
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