Biography of Robert Alexander Schumann (1810-1856)

Composer German, born in Zwickau (Saxony) on 8 June 1810, and died on July 29, 1856 in Endenich, near Bonn, which is considered one of the more destadas of romantic music.

He began his piano training at age 7, and 12 already composed his first works. At the death of his father in 1826, is subjected to the desire of his mother, who did not want to follow the musical career. He began, as well, in 1828 right in Leipizg studies while she gave piano lessons with F. Wieck, and a year later went on to study law at Heidelberg. In 1830 he attended a concert of Paganini at Frankfurt and thereafter left the law to become a piano virtuoso. But the following year, tendinitis forced him to abandon his plans of virtuoso. In 1831 he studied composition with conductor Dorn and independently delved into the works of Bach.

In 1834 he founded the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (NZfM), who published over ten years. In their articles, presented in the form of conversations, it maintained the same ambitions than in his compositions; his political ideas were in accordance with his artistic ideal: liberal without being radical age. He was critical of the German chauvinism and in his youth was an internationalist, although in his later years he was nationalist.

In 1840 he married Clara Wieck, daughter of his teacher, who was opposed to the wedding so that the conflict took them to court. Clara, pianist of great international prestige, had eight children. Schumann abandoned because of exhaustion in may 1844, returning from a concert tour by Russia where he had accompanied his wife, his work in the NZfM. the family settled in Dresden, where he dedicated himself mainly to the composition. He also directed a concert of men (1847) and a mixed choir (1849). In 1850 he accepted the post of director of music of Düsseldorf, where I had to make a series of concerts and directing a choir and an orchestra. Affected by hereditary mental illness, in 1854 was the victim of the most serious crisis of the hitherto incurred and, after a failed suicide on the Rhine, he was interned in a House of health in Endenich, near Bonn. In his moments of lucidity he continued composing and received his friends, among whom was Brahms; but never again see to clear or to their children.

The work

Aside from the compositions of youth that have not yet been published, the work of Schumann began with the piano pieces composed between 1830 and 1833. Until 1839 extends its pianistic period, in which poetry has an essential role in his work. Bach and the poet Jean Paul exert greater influence upon him. This time it's Symphonic studies appeared op. 13 (1834), works in which his style is manifested in all its fullness, and of those years, are also parts that had his triumph: the works for piano op. 6, 9, 11-28, lieder (almost 140 in 1840), I Symphony in b flat major and the Fourth Symphony in d minor (1841), the first movement of the Concerto for piano op 54 (1841), three string quartets (dedicated to Mendelssohn and composed in 1842) Quintet with piano op. 44 (1842), the Quartet with piano op. 47 (1842), etc.

Apart from the projects of opera, which occupied him almost constantly since 1842, it focused on the composition of a profane oratorio, paradise and the Peri (1843), and a year later, he composed scenes of Faust. In 1848, he finished his only opera, Genoveva. In the following years he composed the Rhenish Symphony (1850), overtures and the pilgrimage of the rose (1851). In 1853 in his catalog introduces two religious works, Latin mass and Latin Requiem (1852-1853), as well as Concerto for violin (1853), dedicated to Joachim and published in 1937.