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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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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Schumann: Kreisleriana, Waldszenen, Blumenstück / Paul Gulda
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550401   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann: Arabesque, Kreisleriana / Jénö Jando
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550783   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54

Browse 1-25 of 216 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 3.
    Evgeny Kissin: The Complete RCA & Sony Classical Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5033827 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Evgeny Kissin,  Mikhail Milman,  Boris Garlitsky,  Vladimir Spivakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Vladimir Spivakov,  Seiji Ozawa,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Schumann: Piano Concerto / Fliter, Mendez, Scottish Chamber Orchestra [Vinyl]
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: CKH559 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Ingrid Fliter
    Conductor:  Antonio Mendez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    LP: $34.99
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  • 5.
    Claudio Arrau: The Complete RCA Victor & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 307165 Release Date: 10/07/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Karl Krueger,  Desiré DeFauw,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 6.
    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
    Recommendation
    On sale! $111.98
    CD: $106.49
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  • 7.
    Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002559502 Release Date: 09/23/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 8.
    Mozart & Schumann: Piano Concertos / Fischer
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 19025 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Annie Fischer
    Conductor:  Hans Müller-Kray,  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Baden-Baden Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    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: Piano Concerto - Weber: Konzertstuck / Brendel, Abbado [Vinyl]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B002500001 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    LP: $29.99
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  • 11.
    Eugene Istomin: The Concerto & Solo Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875026172 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin
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  • 12.
    Schumann & Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos / Fliter, Mendez, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 555 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Ingrid Fliter
    Conductor:  Antonio Mendez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Simon Rattle & His Soloists: The CBSO Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555058 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Nigel Kennedy,  Lynn Harrell,  Marielle Labčque  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta
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  • 14.
    Schumann: Complete Symphonic Works, Vol. 4 / Holliger
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 97717 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Patricia Kopatchinskaja,  Dénes Várjon
    Conductor:  Heinz Holliger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
    CD: $18.99
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  • 15.
    The Leonard Bernstein Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462302 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 64
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi,  Philip Smith,  Glenn Dicterow,  Jaap Van Zweden  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Bach Festival Percussion Ensemble
    CD: $202.99
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  • 16.
    Dvorak & Schumann: Piano Concertos / Hough, Nelsons
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 68099 Release Date: 04/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Stephen Hough
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Pollini & Abbado: The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462202 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Arnold Schoenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Andreas Esders,  Gabriele Lechner,  Gretchen Eder  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    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
    CD: $259.99
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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    Annie Fischer & Leon Fleisher Play Schumann
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95643 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Annie Fischer
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 22.
    Radu Lupu: Complete Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002402202 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Radu Lupu,  Vincent Zarzo,  Han de Vries,  George Pieterson  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Lawrence Foster,  Uri Segal,  Edo De Waart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 23.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Pro Cantione Antiqua  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 24.
    Schumann & Grieg: Piano Concertos / Lupu, Previn, London Symphony [Vinyl]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B002405301 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Radu Lupu
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    LP: $24.99
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  • 25.
    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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