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46 years

   
In 1834 Schumann founded a music journal, the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik; he was its editor and leading writer for ten years. He was a brilliant and perceptive critic: his writings embody the most progressive aspects of musical thinking in his time, and he drew attention to many promising young composers. Sometimes he wrote under pseudonyms, Eusebius (representing his lyrical, contemplative side) and Florestan (his fiery, impetuous one); he used these in his music, too. His compositions at this time were mainly for piano: they include variations on the name of one of his lady friends, Abegg (the musical notes A-B-E-G-G), the character-pieces Davidsbündlertänze ('Dances of the league of David', an imaginary association of those fighting the Philistines), Carnaval (pieces with literary or other allusive meanings, including one on the notes A-S-C-H after the place another girl friend came from), Phantasiestücke (a collection of poetic pieces depicting moods), Kreisleriana (fantasy pieces around the character of a mad Kapellmeister) and Kinderszenen ('Scenes from Childhood'). Affairs of the heart played a large part in his life. By 1835 he was in love with Wieck's young daughter Clara, but Wieck did his best to separate them. They pledged themselves in 1837 but were much apart and Schumann went through deep depressions. In 1839 they took legal steps to make Wieck's consent unnecessary, and after many further trials they were able to marry in 1840.

Schumann, understandably, turned in that year to song; he wrote circa 150 songs, including most of his finest, at this time, among them several groups and cycles, the latter including Frauenliebe und -leben ('A Woman's Love and Life') and Dichterliebe ('A Poet's Love'), which tells (to verse by Heine) a tragic Romantic story of the flowering of love, its failure and poet's exclusion from joy and his longing for death. Schumann, as a pianist composer, made the piano partake fully in the expression of emotion in such songs, often giving it the most telling music when the voice had finished.

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In 1834 Schumann founded a music journal, the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik; he was its editor and leading writer for ten years. He was a brilliant and perceptive critic: his writings embody the most progressive aspects of musical thinking in his time, and he drew attention to many promising young composers. Sometimes he wrote under pseudonyms, Eusebius (representing his lyrical, contemplative side) and Florestan (his fiery, impetuous one); he used these in his music, too. His compositions at this time were mainly for piano: they include variations on the name of one of his lady friends, Abegg (the musical notes A-B-E-G-G), the character-pieces Davidsbündlertänze ('Dances of the league of David', an imaginary association of those fighting the Philistines), Carnaval (pieces with literary or other allusive meanings, including one on the notes A-S-C-H after the place another girl friend came from), Phantasiestücke (a collection of poetic pieces depicting moods), Kreisleriana (fantasy pieces around the character of a mad Kapellmeister) and Kinderszenen ('Scenes from Childhood'). Affairs of the heart played a large part in his life. By 1835 he was in love with Wieck's young daughter Clara, but Wieck did his best to separate them. They pledged themselves in 1837 but were much apart and Schumann went through deep depressions. In 1839 they took legal steps to make Wieck's consent unnecessary, and after many further trials they were able to marry in 1840.

Schumann, understandably, turned in that year to song; he wrote circa 150 songs, including most of his finest, at this time, among them several groups and cycles, the latter including Frauenliebe und -leben ('A Woman's Love and Life') and Dichterliebe ('A Poet's Love'), which tells (to verse by Heine) a tragic Romantic story of the flowering of love, its failure and poet's exclusion from joy and his longing for death. Schumann, as a pianist composer, made the piano partake fully in the expression of emotion in such songs, often giving it the most telling music when the voice had finished. More...

 
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