Some thoughts on Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann was a German composer of the Romantic era. He was born in June of 1810 and was the youngest of 5 children. Encouraged by his father, he began music studies at a young age. After his father’s passing, he pursued legal studies in school from about age sixteen to nineteen. However, his passion for music won out and he returned to his music studies and eventually made it his full time profession. He aspired to become a renowned pianist and was talented enough to have been able to achieve this. Unfortunately a hand injury stopped that career path. He then focused more on composing, a benefit for all of us.

Robert’s father had been a book seller and publisher. Along with music, he introduced Robert to the world of literature, writing, and publishing. Robert had started writing essays for publication while his father was still alive. In 1834, Robert started the New Journal for Music (Die Neue Zeitschrift für Musik). Here he published many articles on a variety of music subjects – composers, performers, and his views on music in general.

He was much loved by his family. He and his wife, Clara, fought a legal battle in order to be able to marry which to me signifies a great commitment to each other. Yet Robert had a troubled life. Like some great artists he was not an emotionally stable man. He suffered from extreme bouts of depression and euphoria. In 1854, he requested to be committed to an asylum after an attempted suicide. His youngest child was born shortly after he entered the asylum. He would not get a chance to see his son grow up as Robert never recovered and died at the age of 46 in 1856.

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