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.
Robert Schumann – Etudes after Paganini Caprices, Op. 3
When he was 20 years old, Schumann saw Nicolo Paganini in concert. It inspired him to pursue a career in music. That same year he began piano lessons with Friedrich Wieck. The Etudes were published in 1832. A second work based on Paganini’s music followed in 1833.
Nicolo Paganini (1782-1840) – Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor
Paganini wrote his fourth concerto for his 1829-30 tour of Germany, although it was officially premiered in Paris the following year. A twenty-year-old Robert Schumann saw Paganini in concert during that tour.
Robert Schumann – Papillons, Op. 2
Schuman’s “Butterflies” is based on a masquerade in Jean Paul’s novel, Die Flegeljahre. Schumann also conducted a masquerade in his 1831 essay on Chopin’s own Op.2. He adopted three different personalities who engaged in a heated discussion of the work.
Frédéric Chopin (Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” for piano and orchestra, Op. 2
Chopin wrote this set of variations when he was 17. Schumann heard the work in 1831. His famous review of it in Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung proclaimed “Hats off, gentlemen! A genius!” Clara Wieck, age 12, wrote “[Chopin’s Op. 2] which I learned in eight days, is the hardest piece I have ever seen or played till now.”
Heinrich Dorn (1804-1892) Das Mädchen an den Mond
Schumann studied counterpoint with Heinrich Dorn in 1834. Dorn was the conductor of the Leipzig Opera and a friend of Franz Liszt. He wrote numerous art songs, as well as ten operas. His opera “Die Nibelungen” premiered in 1853, decades before Wagner’s version.