08 June 2019

8th June 1810 - Robert Schumann Born


Robert Schumann was born on 8th June 1810. He trained to be a lawyer, but had composed music from an early age, and left law intending to become a virtuoso pianist. However a hand injury meant that he then dedicated himself to composing. He composed symphonies, songs and a lot of piano works. He also set up a journal as a music critic. He married Clara, a gifted pianist, and had a number of children.

In some of his music and criticism one encounters the imaginary figures Eusebius and Florestan. They are like names given to represent different sides of his character. Florestan is passionate and unpredictable while Eusebius is dreamy and introspective.

There is a history of mental illness in his family and after the death of a brother he had a time of severe depression. This recurred several times alternating with phases of exaltation and delusion. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann asked to be admitted to a mental asylum. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered.

His wife Clara was closely associated with their friend Brahms and they continued to promote Schumann's body of work.

Date found on wikipedia June 8 and details written up after reading Schumann's wikipedia entry.

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