Robert Schumann

Biography

Born: Jun 8, 1810; Germany   Died: Jul 29, 1856; Germany   Period: Romantic
One of the great composers of the nineteenth century, Schumann was the quintessential artist whose life and work embody the idea of Romanticism in music. Schumann was uncomfortable with larger musical forms, such as the symphony and the concerto (nevertheless, representative works in these genres contain moments of great beauty), expressing the full range of his lyrical genius in songs and short pieces for piano. Schumann's extraordinary ability Read more to translate profound, delicate -- and sometimes fleeting -- states of the soul is exemplified by works such as the song cycle Dichterliebe (A Poet's Love), after Heinrich Heine, and his brilliant collections of short piano pieces, including Phantasiestücke (Fantastic Pieces), Kinderszenen (Scenes form Childhood), and Waldszenen (Forest Scenes). In his songs, as critics have remarked, Schumann attained the elusive union of music and poetry which Romantic poets and musicians defined as the ultimate goal of art.
Schumann's father was a bookseller who encouraged Robert's musical and literary talents. Robert started studying piano at age 10. In 1828, he enrolled at the University of Leipzig as a law student, although he found music, philosophy, and Leipzig's taverns more interesting than the law. He also began studies with a prominent Leipzig piano teacher, Friedrich Wieck. There was serious mental illness in Schumann's family, and the composer, who most likely suffered from a manic-depressive condition, approached madness with the typical Romantic combination of fear and fascination. A compulsive womanizer and a heavy drinker, Schumann led a life that aggravated his psychological problems. His efforts to become a concert pianist failed after he developed partial paralysis of his right hand. According to a conventional story, the injury resulted from Schumann's compulsive use of a finger-strengthening device, but newer research points to mercury poisoning due to treatment for syphilis. Schumann settled on a career as a composer and musical writer, co-founding the influential Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and attracting attention early with his prophetic praise of Chopin. Many of his articles take the form of dialogues featuring the "League of David," young artists fighting the "Philistines," and headed by his alter egos "Florestan" and "Eusebius," intended to represent the two contrasting facets -- one ebullient, the other reserved -- of his personality. Schumann's music, with its sharp changes in mood, also reflects his tumultuous inner life. Wieck's highly talented pianist daughter Clara grew up and fell in love with Schumann, to her father's horror. Despite Wieck's opposition, Clara and Robert gained the legal right to marry in 1840, a day before Clara's 21st birthday. During this period Schumann composed feverishly. Spellbound by a musical thought, he would work himself to exhaustion, enthusiastically cultivating a particular genre for a period of time. (For instance, 1841 was a "year of songs" in which he brought the Romantic song cycle to its apex). He virtually invented the short, poetic, descriptive Romantic piano work, and produced such works in glorious profusion in the late 1830s. Schumann tackled larger forms in the 1840s, partly at Clara's urging; his four mature symphonies retain a place in the repertoire, but his opera Genoveva failed. He held several musical jobs, teaching at the newly-founded Leipzig Conservatory, eventually becoming town music director in Düsseldorf, but without much success. On February 27, 1854, he threw himself into the freezing waters of the Rhine. After his rescue, he voluntarily entered an asylum. Although he had periods of lucidity, his condition deteriorated, and he died there in 1856, probably of tertiary syphilis. Read less
Re:Imagined: Schumann & Beethoven / Bailey, Ying Quartet
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Sono Luminus  
Catalog: 92204   Number of Discs: 1
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Schubert & Schumann: Transcriptions for Clarinet & Harp / Lenaerts, Grammenos
Release Date: 11/11/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 558214   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann, Handel, Haydn, Telemann: Concertos For Four Horns
Release Date: 12/13/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557747   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann: Beethoven Studies, Ghost Variations & Schubert Variations / Chauzu
Release Date: 04/08/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573540   Number of Discs: 1
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The Best Of Schumann
Release Date: 09/11/1997   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8556662   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Phantasie for Piano in C major, Op. 17

Browse 1-25 of 162 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Martha Argerich: Live Broadcasts, Vol. 5
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: DHR-8048 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Reinhard Peters
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norddutscher Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $18.99
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  • 2.
    Maurizio Pollini: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002578510 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Arnold Schoenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Andreas Esders,  Gabriele Lechner,  Gretchen Eder  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung  ... 
    CD: $254.49
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  • 3.
    Klavierabend / Arakawa
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1619 Release Date: 11/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann,  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Jasmin Arakawa
    On sale! $13.98
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  • 4.
    Sviatoslav Richter: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557828 Release Date: 10/21/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  David Oistrakh,  Oleg Kagan  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Bashmet,  Lorin Maazel,  Herbert von Karajan,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto,  Orchestre de Paris,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Schumann, Stravinsky & Neuwirth: Piano Works / Park
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: OC 1863 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Igor Stravinsky,  Olga Neuwirth
    Performer:  Christopher Park
    CD: $19.99
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  • 6.
    Chopin: 24 Preludes - Schumann: Fantasie / Gutierrez
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9479 Release Date: 10/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Horacio Gutierrez
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  • 7.
    Julius Katchen: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002543002 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Katchen,  Thea King
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  • 8.
    She Rose, and Let Me In / Ko
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3491 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Liberatore,  Josef Suk,  Gilad Rabinovitch,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Eunmi Ko
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    The Originals, Vol. 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002534902 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Nathan Milstein,  Géza Anda,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Eugen Jochum,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $131.98
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  • 10.
    Schumann: Kreisleriana, Phantasie & Carnaval / Feltsman
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: NI6324 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Vladimir Feltsman
    CD: $34.99
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  • 11.
    Schumann: Kreisleriana; Phantasie; Carnaval / Feltsman
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6324 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Vladimir Feltsman
    CD: $34.99
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  • 12.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Sony Classical Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 532035 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  César Franck,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Martha Argerich,  Ivry Gitlis
    Conductor:  Martha Argerich,  Claudio Abbado
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  • 13.
    Great Moments at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503227 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Roy Harris,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Jussi Björling,  Frederick Schauwecker,  Van Cliburn  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Bruno Walter,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
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  • 14.
    The 1980 Ambassador Auditorium Recital / Egorov
    Label: First Hand Records   Catalog: 44 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Youri Egorov
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  • 15.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $135.98
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  • 16.
    Sofronitsky: Concert Recordings [5 CD + DVD]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002312 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Sofronitzki
    CD: $54.49
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  • 17.
    Luca Buratto: Live At Honens 2015
    Label: Honens   Catalog: 201601 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  György Ligeti,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Luca Buratto,  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  James Campbell,  Hsin-Yun Huang
    CD: $18.99
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  • 18.
    Helldunkel - Clair Obscur / Guillotin
    Label: Evidence   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 02/05/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Cyril Guillotin
    CD: $27.99
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  • 19.
    Alfred Brendel: Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434302 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 114
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Imogen Cooper,  Sylvia McNair,  Eduard Brunner  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Bernard Haitink,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $287.98
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  • 20.
    Schumann: Fantasie Op. 17; Brahms: 10 Intermezzi
    Label: Blue Griffin   Catalog: 387 Release Date: 01/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Iskander Zakirov
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 21.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 22.
    Martha Argerich In New York, 1966
    Label: Idis   Catalog: 6707 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    Schumann Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95020 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Clara Wieck Schumann
    Performer:  Julius Berger,  Hansheinz Schneeberger,  Francis Orval,  François Tommasini  ... 
    Conductor:  Florian Merz,  Pierre Cao,  Arie Van Beek,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  South Westphalia Philharmonic,  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra,  Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 24.
    Schumann: Davidsbunderlertanze; Fantasie In C; Geistervariationen / Cordelia Williams
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 150 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Cordelia Williams
    CD: $18.99
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  • 25.
    Claudio Arrau Plays Beethoven: Sonata No. 23, Schumann: Fantasia, Liszt: Gnomenreigen
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6695 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    CD: $14.99
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