#ClassicsaDay #SchumannsCircle Week 1

Robert Schumann was born on June 8, 1810. Some of us contributing to the #ClassicsaDay feed decided to celebrate that birthday. For the month of June, we encouraged folks to post works by Schumann and his circle. Schumann worked with several major composers of the day. He also reviewed up-and-coming composers in his magazine. 

Here are my selections for the first week of #ClassicsaDay #SchumannsCircle

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) – Ten Impromptus on a Theme by Clara Wieck, Op. 5

Robert Schumann was studying piano with Friedrich Wieck. Schumann became enchanted with his daughter, Clara. Young Clara was an extremely talented pianist and composer. Schumann wrote these ten impromptus based on one of her themes. Clara was thirteen when Schumann presented his finished work to her. They were married eight years later.


Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-1896) – Romance Varié for piano, Op. 3

Wieck was a prodigious musical prodigy, both at the keyboard and with the pen. Most of her works were written while she was young. The Romance Varié, for example, was composed when she was 12 or 13. Robert Schumann made one of the themes the basis for his 10 Impromptus, Op. 5.


Robert Schumann – Toccata in C major, Op. 7

Schumann dedicated this work to his close friend Ludwig Schunke. Schunke was Schumann’s next-door neighbor and at one point dissuaded Schumann from suicide. Schunke was a pianist/composer with great promise. He died at age 23.


Ludwig Schumke (1810-1834) – Grand Sonate in G minor, Op. 3

Schumke was a piano virtuoso and composer, whose career was cut short by tuberculosis. He performed with Lizst and Chopin. He was a close friend of Robert Schumann. He co-founded Schumann’s Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. Schumke dedicated his grande sonata to his friend.


Robert Schumann – Symphonic Studies, Op. 13

Schuman wrote this set of etudes in 1834. It features a theme by amateur musician Baron von Fricken, and eleven variations. The twelve etude was based on “Proud England, rejoice!” from a Heinrich Marschner opera. It was dedicated to Schumann’s friend, William Sterndale Bennett.

William Sterndale Bennett (1816-1875) The Naiads ~ Concert Overture Op. 15

Bennett was a close personal friend of Schumann. When Schumann dedicated his Symphonic Studies to Bennett, Bennett returned the favor. His Fantasie Op. 16 was dedicated to Schumann. I couldn’t find an example of that work, but Bennett’s “The Naiads” was composed the same year, 1836.

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