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: Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54

Browse 1-25 of 256 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Claudio Abbado - The Complete RCA & Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 2.
    Willem Mengelberg Conducts Franz Schubert
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9109 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Gaspar Cassadó,  Emil Von Sauer
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
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  • 3.
    Alfred Brendel: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002044602 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  James Van Demark
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland String Quartet members
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  • 4.
    Gunter Wand Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 12044 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  HansJörg Schellenberger,  Gerhard Oppitz
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $98.99
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  • 5.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1158582 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Salvatore Accardo,  Evgeni Kissin,  Paul Crossley
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
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  • 6.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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  • 7.
    Sir Colin Davis - The Complete RCA Legacy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300607 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Barbara Fleckenstein,  Ben Heppner,  Heinrich Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 8.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 1 (1948-1958)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633625 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Dinu Lipatti,  Walter Gieseking,  Dennis Brain,  Bernard Walton  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Grieg, Schumann: Piano Concertos
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 356 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Janne Mertanen
    Conductor:  Hannu Koivula
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gavle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Samson Francois En Concert
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 1110753 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Samson François
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Lorin Maazel,  André Cluytens
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  • 11.
    Mozart, Schumann: Piano Concertos; Chopin: Variations On Mozart's Theme
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 189 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Margarita Höhenrieder
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
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  • 12.
    Daniel Barenboim: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 938424 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Jacqueline Du Pré
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 15.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22363 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Edvard Grieg,  César Franck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    On sale! $35.98
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  • 16.
    Leon Fleisher - The Complete Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 545997 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  César Franck,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Jules Eskin,  Benita Valente,  Harold Wright  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Seiji Ozawa,  Leon Fleisher,  Szymon Goldberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22359 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Dinu Lipatti
    Conductor:  Otto Ackermann,  Herbert von Karajan,  Alceo Galliera
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 18.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22358 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Clara Haskil
    Conductor:  Willem van Otterloo
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 19.
    Martha Argerich - 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844412 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Béla Bartók,  Frédéric Chopin,  Alberto Ginastera  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Renaud Capuçon,  Mischa Maisky
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Alexandre Rabinovitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 21.
    Gunter Wand Edition - Schumann: Piano Concerto; Mozart: Symphony No 40 / Oppitz
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13030 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Gerhard Oppitz
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Schumann, Dvorak: Piano Concertos / Francesco Piemontesi
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5327 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Francesco Piemontesi
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Label: Audiophile Classics   Catalog: 7706134 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Edward MacDowell,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl,  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 24.
    Wilhelm Kempff - The Concerto Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001822502 Release Date: 04/16/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner,  Paul Van Kempen,  Bernhard Klee,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $74.98
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  • 25.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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