The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)


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The members of the Gesangverein refused to sing under his direction after a disastrous performance of a mass by Moritz Hauptmann on 16 October, when he continued to conduct well after the music stopped. In private consultation with Clara on 7 November, two members of the executive committee, Julius Illing and Joseph Herz, suggested that Schumann conduct only his own pieces and leave his other duties to Tausch. Incensed by what he considered a breach of faith, Schumann failed to appear at the subscription concert of 10 November, thus leaving himself open to the charge of violating his contract.

Schumann officially broke off relations with the executive committee in a bluntly worded letter of 19 November. At the same time, he and Clara considered a future move to either Berlin or Vienna. On 19 January he set off with Clara for Hanover, where Joachim was leader of the court orchestra and where, over the course of the next 12 days, he engaged in a round of music-making which included a private reading of his Violin Concerto.

On 3 February he drafted a brief but spirited introductory essay for publication with the collected edition of his critical writings. Fearful that he might unwittingly bring harm to his wife, Schumann demanded to be removed to an asylum on 26 February. After working for a time on the fair copy of his variations, he slipped undetected out of the house in the early afternoon and made for the bridge over the Rhine. After diving headlong into the river, he was rescued by fishermen who had observed him from nearby.

Thereafter Clara was not allowed to see him, nor was she informed of his suicide attempt though she soon realized the truth. Clara was prevented from bidding him farewell when he departed in the company of Hasenclever and two male attendants on 4 March. She would not see him again until July The alternation of larger with less imposing projects speaks to an outlook in which idealism was tempered by a shrewd sense for the marketplace.

Perhaps biassed by their foreknowledge of his unfortunate end, many commentators have searched for signs of mental decay in this repertory, a dubious exercise at best. In the first place, the scoring of the late works is by no means uniformly sombre: the overture to Hermann und Dorothea , to cite one of many examples, is as deftly orchestrated as anything by Weber or Mendelssohn.


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It was a matter less of a discrepancy between psychic state and sonorous elaboration than of a musical imagination capable of embracing a diversity of styles. As a lyric poet, Schumann explored the inner lives of his subjects in the Sieben Lieder on Kulmann texts op.

The generally affirmative tone of the earlier work, however, gives way to mysterious understatement in the Kulmann lieder and an unusual blend of passion and austerity in the Maria Stuart cycle. At the opposite pole from the introspective lyricist is the extroverted symphonist. Similarly, the concertante works of the last years are characterized by a synthesis of virtuosity and musical substance, most obviously in the written-out cadenzas of the Cello Concerto, the Introduction and Concert-Allegro for piano and the Phantasie for violin, where the traditional site of soloistic display becomes a secondary development section.

The recall of thematic ideas over the span of a multi-movement work, a feature of the Third Symphony and the concertos for cello and violin, is an essentially narrative technique and hence a manifestation of the storyteller persona. This figure naturally dominates in the ballad-type works for chorus and orchestra, most of which take the preservation of memory as their poetic theme.

The religious side of his personality was free of dogmatism. Hoffmann isolated as the hallmarks of genuine church music. The figure of the collector is concerned with redemption of a material sort, with the preservation and arrangement of fragile objects that might otherwise perish. Once assembled into a collection, these objects are imbued with an aura, a mixture of distance and proximity intended to fill the beholder with awe.

If the collector preserves objects, then the pedagogue preserves traditions. While all of these belong to the world of Hausmusik , aiming to promote conviviality and edification, several of their constituent pieces disclose an undeniably poetic quality. Situated on a well-kept estate in Endenich, a suburb of Bonn, the private asylum where Schumann spent his last years was one of the more progressive institutions of its type.

Though he neither force-fed nor drugged his patients, Richarz discouraged direct contact with relatives in the belief that such meetings might set off untoward reversals. It was chiefly for this reason that Clara did not see her husband until nearly two and a half years into his confinement, and just two days before his death.

In the meantime, on 11 June Clara had given birth to another son, named Felix, after Mendelssohn. After a brief period of improvement, the final decline set in, leading to death in July Perhaps other compositions were among the papers and letters that, according to Richarz, Schumann consigned to the flames in April The hallucinations and auditory disturbances he experienced in February probably mark the onset of the final stage of the disease after a long period of latency.

The steady deterioration of his neurological system brought with it convulsive fits, the gradual loss of the ability to speak clearly, delusional ideas among them the conviction that he was being poisoned , aggressive behaviour and protracted periods of screaming that left him hoarse. But when she learnt from Brahms in June that Schumann had not left his bed for several weeks, she decided to investigate for herself.

Twice prevented from seeing him by Richarz and Brahms during visits to Endenich on 14 and 23 July , she was finally admitted to his sickroom on 27 July. Now in the throes of pneumonia and barely conscious, Schumann mustered the strength to embrace her and mumble a few words of recognition. Two days later he was buried in a cemetery near the Sternentor in Bonn. Asked for an opinion on Schumann, a follower of the European musical scene in about would probably have identified him as a critic, not a composer. Even members of the relatively limited circle who knew his earlier compositions often found them bizarre and eccentric.

Reacting to charges of this sort at mid-century, Schumann reissued opp. With the First Symphony and the Piano Quintet, he began to garner the public recognition that had previously eluded him. Performed in centres as remote from his native Saxony as Riga and New York, Das Paradies und die Peri established his reputation as a composer of international stature.

SYMPHONIES

The appropriation of his music by the spokesmen for what was then taken to be musical progress also played a part in this shift. Adorno has also pointed to the remarkable affinity between Schumann and Berg, both of whom demonstrated a predilection for allusions, encoded messages and musical ciphers. In a sense he was all of these things and many others besides. A fastidious miniaturist, he was no less adept as a fabricator of monumental forms.

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The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12) The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)
The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12) The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)
The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12) The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)
The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12) The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)
The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12) The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)
The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12) The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)
The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12) The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)
The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12) The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)
The Victorious Lawsuit (from Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, No. 12)

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