Pianist, composer, teacher, impresario and music critic: Clara Schumann was more than just the wife of Robert Schumann, as is clear with all the events commemorating her, 200 years after her birth.
This hour, performances from the Schumannfest in Bonn.
Clara Schumann is an inspiration to the German-Greek pianist Danae Dörken: "I think it is very impressive that she was ahead of her time," Dörken told DW, "although people criticized her for it and asked her to stop doing certain things. I always admire people that just don't stop where they are but always try out new things and try to expand horizons more and more. That's exactly what she did."
Clara Wieck and Robert Schumann fell in love when she was only 12. Her father didn't approve, and for years they fought for the right to marry. After they finally did, Clara gave birth to eight children and went on frequent concert tours to support the family.
And composing? That was then considered a man's job. Sometimes her husband was supportive of her efforts, sometimes not. After Robert Schumann died at age 46, Clara put down her pen and wrote no more music, so most of her compositions date from her youth.
The Schumannfest in Bonn capitalizes on the fact that Robert Schumann spent part of his life in that city. It wasn't a particularly happy part of his life though; he lived out his last years in an asylum for the mentally ill in Endenich, today a suburb of Bonn, and died there at age 46.
His wife survived him by 40 years, and both are interred at a beautiful grave site in Bonn's central cemetery. The onetime asylum is today known as the Schumann House and is a small museum — and a central location for the Schumannfest.
Nocturne in F Major, op. 6, No. 2
Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), op. 82
Danae Dörken, piano
Recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) at DW headquarters in Bonn on June 15, 2019
Six Songs, op. 13:
Six Poems by Nikolaus Lenau and Requiem op. 90:
Arttu Kataja, baritone
Paulina Tukiainen, piano
Recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the Theater in the Ballroom in Bonn on June 1, 2019