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
Schumann: Genoveva / Masur, Moser, Fischer-Dieskau, Schreier, Gewandhaus Orchestra
Release Date: 06/30/2015   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 95117   Number of Discs: 2
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Mendelssohn & Schumann: Violin Concertos / Widmann, Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Ecm  
Catalog: 002552402   Number of Discs: 1
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Mozart & Schumann: Piano Concertos / Fischer
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Swr Music  
Catalog: 19025   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann: Genoveva / Albrecht, Faulkner, Behle, Titus, et al
Release Date: 08/10/1993   Label: Orfeo  
Catalog: 289932   Number of Discs: 2
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Schumann: Genoveva / Banse, Mathey, Harnoncourt
Release Date: 01/26/2010   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101328   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Träumerei

Browse 1-25 of 218 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Lullabies for Liz: Piano Favorites by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Borodin & Others / Serov
    Label: Northern Flowers   Catalog: 9914 Release Date: 09/16/2016  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alexander Borodin,  Frédéric Chopin,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Yuri Serov
    CD: $16.99
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  • 2.
    Relaxation: Soothing Sounds of Classical Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578341 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Edvard Grieg,  Erik Satie,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Nora Shulman,  Judy Loman,  Takako Nishizaki,  Wolf Harden  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Breiner,  Jérôme Kaltenbach,  Alfred Walter,  Jorma Panula  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Nancy Lyric Symphony Orchestra,  Budapest Strauss Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Piano Daydreams / Argerich, Barenboim, Lang
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002529802 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Marc Luisada,  Dino Ciani,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 4.
    100 Best Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556480 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Barry Tuckwell,  Mikhail Rudy,  Maria-Joao Pires  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kent Nagano,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alberto Lysy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 5.
    40 Most Beautiful Classical Pieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556099 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Samson François,  Maria Tipo,  Martha Argerich,  Dmitri Alexeev  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  William Christie,  John E. Gardiner,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants,  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Emmanuelle Haďm (Conductor/Harpsichord)  ... 
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  • 6.
    Discover Piano Classics
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300719 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Erik Satie,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Friedrich Gulda,  Andrej Hoteev,  Jeroen van Veen,  Matthias Kirschnereit  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 7.
    Classical Wonderland: Classical Music for Children
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875117112 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Irene Timacheff-Gabetta,  Sol Gabetta,  Igor Levit  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
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  • 8.
    Great Moments at Carnegie Hall (Selected Highlights)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 530420 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Paul de Schlözer,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Ronald Turini,  Artur Rubinstein,  Jorge Bolet,  Van Cliburn  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Arturo Toscanini,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra of St. Luke's
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    Horowitz in Moscow
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002475702 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    CD: $12.99
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  • 11.
    The Romantic Piano, Vol. 1 / Coop
    Label: Skylark Digital   Catalog: 702 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Coop
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Label: Fondamenta   Catalog: 1401018 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  François Couperin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Tatiana Zelikman
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  • 13.
    Schumann: Piano Concerto; Introduction and Allegro Appassionato; Kinderszenen / Lisiecki, Pappano
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002436802 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Jan Lisiecki
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    50 Most Beautiful Classical Pieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553009 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Zacharias,  Nicolai Gedda,  Kerstin [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Meyer,  Gré Brouwenstijn  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  André Cluytens,  David Fray,  Fabio Biondi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante,  Les Arts Florissants,  Concentus Musicus Wien
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  • 16.
    Return to Chicago / Horowitz
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403702 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Alexander Scriabin,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 17.
    Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings (1966-1983)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 305458 Release Date: 10/23/2015   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 18.
    Sunken Cathedral: Classics For Kids
    Label: eOne   Catalog: 7793 Release Date: 08/21/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Gabriela Montero,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Marc Neikrug,  Pinchas Zukerman
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    111 - The Piano - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002281002 Release Date: 04/21/2015   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Géza Anda,  Martha Argerich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 20.
    CD Premieres of their Rarest 78 RPM Recordings / Stokowski / All-American Youth Orchestra
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1287 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ottokar Novácek,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Henry Cowell
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    CD: $44.49
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  • 21.
    Liebestraum: Romantic Piano Music
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94989 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Misha Goldstein
    CD: $11.99
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  • 22.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 23.
    Adolf Busch, The Berlin Recordings 1921-1929
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2406 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Adolf Busch,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Rudolf Serkin
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  • 24.
    Schumann: Piano Works
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9009 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
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  • 25.
    Beyond Bach: Other Composers I Adore / Jacques  Loussier
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 35342 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Erik Satie,  George Frideric Handel,  Domenico Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Jacques Loussier,  André Arpino,  Vincent Charbonnier,  Benoit Dunoyer DeSegonzac
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