Clara Schumann: The Artist and the Woman

This highly readable examination of Clara Schumann’s life and character reveals new richness and depth in her fascinating story.

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This absorbing and award-winning biography tells the story of the tragedies and triumphs of Clara Wieck Schumann (1819–1896): artist, composer, editor, teacher, wife, and mother of eight. To show how Schumann surmounted the obstacles facing female artists in the nineteenth century, Nancy B. Reich draws on previously unexplored primary sources: unpublished diaries, letters, family papers, and concert programs. Going beyond the familiar legends, she provides us with a  portrait.

In Part One, Reich follows Clara Schumann’s life, from child prodigy through marriage to Robert Schumann, and into the forty years after his death when she established and maintained a major career while maintaining a household with seven children. Part Two covers major themes in Schumann’s life: her relationship with Johannes Brahms and other contemporaries; her creative work; her life on the concert stage; and her success as a teacher.

Throughout, excerpts from diaries and letters clear up misconceptions about her life and achievements and her partnership with Robert Schumann. Highlighting aspects of Clara Schumann’s personality and character that have been neglected by earlier biographers, this candid and eminently readable account adds appreciably to our understanding of a fascinating artist and woman.

This revised edition adds several photographs and includes recent discoveries. Includes a Catalogue of Works with all of Clara Schumann’s known published and unpublished compositions and works she edited, as well as the various editions and recent literature on each piece. The Catalogue also notes Schumann’s performances of her own music and provides pertinent quotations from letters, diaries, and contemporary reviews.

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