Biography of Clara Schumann

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For almost half a century, the musical world was defined by order and esteemed the form of music more highly than the emotion that lay behind it. However, at the turn of the 19th century, romantic music began to rise in popularity. Lasting nearly a century, romantic music rejected the ideas of the classical era and instead encouraged composers to embrace the idea of emotionally driven music. Music was centered around extreme emotions and fantastical stories that rejected the idea of reason. This was the world that Clara Wieck (who would later marry the famous composer, Robert Schumann) was born into. Most well known for being a famous concert pianist, and secondly for being a romantic composer, Clara intimately knew the workings of romantic music which would not only influence Clara but would later become influenced by her progressive compositions and performances, as asserted by Bertita Harding, author of Concerto: The Glowing Story of Clara Schumann (Harding, 14). Clara’s musical career is an excellent example of how romantic music changed from virtuosic pieces composed to inspire awe at a performer’s talent, to more serious and nuanced pieces of music that valued the emotion of the listener above all else. From the very beginning, Clara’s father, Friedrich Wieck, a well respected German music teacher, intended for her to become a famous musician (Harding, 9). At a young age, he recognized that Clara had the gift of music. According to Bertita Harding, who wrote a biography of Clara Schumann, Wieck took cues from Mozart, in hopes to turning his daughter into a well known child prodigy. He began to rigorously train and cultivate Clara’s natural talent at the age of five and turned it into something extraordinary (Harding, 12).... ... middle of paper ... ...rtuosity in Clara Schumann's Piano Compositions." Musicological Explorations 11 (Spring 2010): 45-90. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. Susskind, Pamela. "Clara Schumann." The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Ed. Stanley Sadie and George Grove. 1980. Print. Music Butterworth, Oliver, Michael Evans, and Frank Wibut, perfs. Piano Trio Op. 17. Dartington Piano Trio. Brown, Mark, 1988. Florida College's Classical Music Library. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. Lupo, Benedetto, and Peter Maag, perfs. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Minor Op.54. By Clara Schumann. Orchestra Della Svizzera Italiana. Arts Productions, 2004. Florida College's Classical Music Library. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. Volondat, Pierre-Alain, perf. Variations OP 20. By Clara Schumann. Rec. 15 May 2010. Saphir Productions, 2008. Florida College's Classical Music Library. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

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