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: Symphonies No 1-4 / Rattle, Berlin PO
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Berlin Philharmonic  
Catalog: 140011   Number of Discs: 3
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Schumann: Complete Symphonies; Das Paradies Und Die Peri / Gardiner [5-CD Collector's Edition]
Release Date: 04/15/2014   Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)  
Catalog: 002020702   Number of Discs: 5
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Schumann: Fantasiestucke, Arabeske, Kinderszenen / Ronan O'Hora
Release Date: 11/08/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28710   Number of Discs: 1
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Gal, Schumann: Symphony No 1 / Woods
Release Date: 03/11/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2233   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann: Piano Works Vol 1 / Klára Würtz
Release Date: 10/29/2002   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 99791   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Träumerei

Browse 1-25 of 281 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    Piano / Myung-whun Chung
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 002054102 Release Date: 05/19/2014  
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Myung-Whun Chung
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  • 3.
    The Storyteller / Barbara Nissman
    Label: Three Oranges Recordings   Catalog: 5638267650 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Barbara Nissman
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  • 4.
    100 Hits: Classical Greats
    Label: 100 Hits   Catalog: 1017490 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Myra Hess,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Myra Hess  ... 
    Conductor:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Members of the Vienna Octet (Members)
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  • 5.
    Vladimir Horowitz - Three Classic Albums
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999602 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Franz Liszt,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 6.
    Best Of Classic
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 7016 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Jacques Offenbach,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Patrice Fontanarosa,  Günther Körner,  Thierry Amadi  ... 
    Conductor:  Denise Cloutier,  Frank Shipway,  Libor Pesek,  Arturo Leonard  ... 
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  • 7.
    Piano Dreams
    Label: Bella Musica   Catalog: 312449 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Yuko Yamashiro
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  • 8.
    Steinway, The Beautiful
    Label: Fim (1st Impression)   Catalog: 87 Release Date: 11/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Yellow River Composers' C,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Todd Crow
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  • 9.
    The Expressive Voice Of The Flute
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 21222 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Howard Blake,  William Lloyd Webber  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth Smith,  Paul Rhodes
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  • 10.
    Label: Sounds True   Catalog: 3971 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Lisa Spector
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  • 11.
    Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548417 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Oratorio Society of New York
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  • 12.
    Lullabies / Catrin Finch
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4791482 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Catrin Finch,  Hannah Stone,  Bryn Terfel,  Kate Royal  ... 
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  • 13.
    Piano Rhapsody / Roland Pontinen
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 9044 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Roland Pöntinen
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22327 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Nikolai Walter,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Aleksander Dedjuchin
    Conductor:  Vaclav Talich
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  • 15.
    Label: Sonoma   Catalog: 745 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Schmalfuss,  Stefan Jeschko,  Josef Bulva,  Sylvia Cápová  ... 
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  • 16.
    Label: Sounds True   Catalog: 3915 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Lisa Spector
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  • 17.
    10 Classic Albums / Mischa Maisky [11-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001801402 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Charles Gounod,  George Frideric Handel,  Jean-Baptiste Lully  ... 
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky,  Pavel Gililov,  Daria Hovora,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $61.49
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  • 18.
    50 Best Chillout Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 332942 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Gregorio Allegri,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Finley,  Juliette Hurel,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurice Handford,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Stephen Cleobury,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Ahn Trio,  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 19.
    50 Best Romantic Piano Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 333232 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Leif Ove Andsnes,  John Ogdon,  Garrick Ohlsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Mariss Jansons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rostal & Schaefer Piano Duo
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  • 20.
    Piano Madness / Denev
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 11 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Lyubomir Denev,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Lyubomir Denev
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  • 21.
    The Sound of Pablo Casals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 780032 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Max Bruch,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Alfred Cortot,  Jacques Thibaud,  Otto Schulhof
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Landon Ronald,  Pablo Casals
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Label: Farao   Catalog: B108031 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferdinand Ries,  Gabriel Fauré,  Enrique Granados,  Francesco Maria Veracini  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Rawitz,  Janos Maté
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  • 23.
    Label: Mood Media Entertainment   Catalog: 60294 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
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  • 24.
    Label: Farao   Catalog: B108018 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vittorio Monti,  Robert Schumann,  Malcolm Arnold,  Kurt Weill  ... 
    Performer:  Eberhard Knobloch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Interclarinet
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  • 25.
    Label: Somerset Entertainment   Catalog: 50408 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Astor Piazzolla  ... 
    Performer:  Davide Direnzo,  Charles Cozens,  Bill Bridges
    Conductor:  Constantine Hvatynetz
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