Clara and Robert Schumann: Tragedy and Triumph

Robert Schumann was a German composer, pianist, and important music critic of the early Romantic Era. Clara Schumann, regarded as one of the most distinguished pianists of her time, published her husband’s works and in some cases adapted his songs for piano. Robert Schumann’s musical genius was critical to the expressive evolution of piano music, chamber works, lieder, and symphonies in the first half of the 19th century. As we explore the Schumanns’ masterworks, we will examine their form, style, and place in history while paying particular attention to their remarkable ability of extramusical literary association. In today’s terms, Schumann and his wife Clara were influencers and considered a power couple, even amongst their remarkable contemporaries: Brahms, Chopin, Paganini, Liszt, Berlioz, Weber, and Mendelssohn. With each new work and premiere, there is a human story of challenge, triumph, and sometimes tragedy. Noting social and political trends as well as musical history, we will trace these threads and weave a rich tapestry of inspiration and creativity. No prior musical knowledge is necessary for the enjoyment of this class.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • A familiarity with Robert Schumann’s important musical compositions
  • An understanding of Clara and Robert Schumann’s impact on the cultural and artistic legacy of the early Romantic Era

Ideal for

  • Music enthusiasts
  • All members of the community-- working, retired, and in between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.