Schumann, the wife of composer Robert Schumann, was a renowned pianist of her time. A child prodigy, she made her debut in 1830 and later performed with great success all over Europe. She was an outstanding interpreter of works by her husband and Johannes Brahms and was one of the first pianists to perform from memory. Her own compositions were mainly piano pieces and songs. Schumann supported her family financially and organized her own concert tours while also raising how many children? More… Discuss
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (German born, and generally known in English-speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn (3 February 1809 — 4 November 1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.
Piano Concerto in A Minor (1822)
***Cyprien Katsarsis piano and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra conducted by Janos Rolla
***Paintings and drawings by Felix Mendelssohn (except his images and his wife’s)
Portrait by Franz von Lenbach, 1878
|Born||Clara Josephine Wieck
13 September 1819
|Died||20 May 1896 (aged 76)
Frankfurt, German Empire
Cause of death
|Spouse(s)||Robert Schumann (m. 1840; wid. 1856)|
Clara Schumann (née Clara Josephine Wieck; 13 September 1819 – 20 May 1896) was a German musician and composer, considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. She exerted her influence over a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public. Her husband was the composer Robert Schumann. Together they encouraged Johannes Brahms, and she was the first pianist to give public performances of some of Brahms’s works, notably the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel.
Prominent Russians: Aleksandr Glazunov
Aleksandr Glazunov was a Russian composer, professor and rector of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. His works of the late Russian Romantic period reconciled nationalism and cosmopolitanism in Russian music.
Child musical prodigy
Glazunov was born into a wealthy merchant family – his father was a prominent publisher and book trader in St. Petersburg. Glazunov’s mother was a good pianist and had a major influence on Aleksandr’s music education. She hired the best piano teachers for her son. To her great satisfaction, Glazunov was an eager student and as early as 13 he revealed a great talent for composition. In 1879 he met Mily Balakirev, one of the founders of the Russian nationalist school of composers known as The Five or The Mighty Handful.
Impressed by Glazunov’s talent, Balakirev recommended him to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a composer and a member of The Five. Rimsky-Korsakov took it upon himself to teach Glazunov the theory of composition, harmony and instrumental accompaniment. Glazunov was a bright student and was able to cover the whole Conservatory program in just a year and a half.
Glazunov composed his first symphony at the age of 16, which was first played at a free school concert. It was also later performed at the Moscow Exhibition, conducted by Rimsky-Korsakov. Glazunov’s symphony was very well received and was followed by other works, which were just as fine as his first piece.
Glazunov with Fedor Chaliapin and Vladimir Stasov
Portrait of Alexander Glazunov.
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Mendelssohn wrote the magnificent Hebrides Overture when he was only 21 (though revisions were made a few years later). It was upon a visit to Scotland (the Romantic view of which was much in vogue at the time) and more specifically, the Hebridean Islands off the Scottish west coast, that the first mysterious theme came to his head, which he quickly wrote down. He was also inspired by a visit to Fingal’s Cave, a natural structure of pillars of basalt, hence the subtitle for the composition.
The waters around the Hebrides are famously rough and stormy, and navigation can be difficult even today, let alone in Mendelssohn’s time. Throughout the overture, Mendelssohn evokes the sense of the great, mysterious power surrounding the islands, as well as the tumbling ocean (bass activity at around 00:19 – 00:35, for example) and lonely cries of seabirds (3:54?)
The Hebrides Overture is not meant to be a narrative – it is more of a scene/mood setter. Nevertheless, it is perhaps the earliest example of what could be described as a tone poem, and is a fascinating, riveting work written with great maturity by a man barely out of his teens.