Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/434

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422

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��she was already an object of much interest in the town. At this time she was accustomed to play the concertos of Mozart and Hummel with or- chestra by heart, and thus early did she lay the foundation of that sympathy with the orchestra which so distinguishes her. On November 8, 1 830, when just over eleven, she gave her first concert at the Gewandhaus under the good old name of ' Musikalische Akademie' ; and her performance is cited by the A.M.Z. as a proof how far appli- cation and good teaching can bring great natural gifts at so early an age. Her solo pieces were Rondo brillant (op. 101), Kalkbrenner; Varia- tions brillantes (op. 23), Herz; and variations of her own on an original theme; and she is praised by the critic just referred to for already possessing the brilliant style of the greatest players of the day. Her next appearance was on May 9, 1831, in pieces by Pixis and Herz still bravura music. About this time she was taken to Weimar, Cassel, and Frankfort, and in the spring of 1832 to Paris, where she gave a concert on April 13, of which, however, no details are to be found. Mendelssohn was there at the time, but was suffering from an attack of cholera, and thus the meeting of these two great artists destined to become such great friends was postponed. On July 9 and July 31, 1832, she gives two other 'Musikalische Akadeniien' in Leipzig, at which, besides Pixis and Herz, we find Chopin's varia- tions on ' La ci darem' (op. 2), a piece which, only a few months before, Robert Schumann had wel- comed with his first and one of his most spirited reviews. At the former of these two concerts Fraulein Livia Gerhardt (now Madame Frege) sang in public for the first time.

In October 1832 Clara Wieck seems to have made her debut at the Gewandhaus Concerts in Moscheles's G minor Concerto Pohlenz was then the conductor and from that time forward her name is regularly found in the programmes of those famous Subscription Concerts, as well as of others held in the same hall. Hitherto, it will be observed, her music has been almost ex- clusively bravura; but on Nov. 9, 1832, she played with Mendelssohn and Rakemann in Bach's triple Concerto in D minor, and about the same time Moscheles mentions her perform- ance of one of Schubert's Trios, and Beethoven's Trio in Bb. In the winter of 1836 she made her first visit to Vienna, and remained during the winter playing with great success, and receiving the appointment of ' Kk. Kammer-virtuosin.'

Schumann had been on a very intimate foot- ing in the Wieck's house for some years, but it appears not to have been till the spring of 1836 that his attachment to Clara was openly avowed, and it was not till Sept. 12, 1840 (the eve of her birthday), after a series of delays and diffi- culties which are sufficiently touched upon in the preceding article, that they were married. For eighteen months after this event Madame Schumann remained in Leipzig. We find her name in the Gewandhaus programmes attached to the great masterpieces, but occasionally making a romantic excursion, as in December 1841, when

��SCHUMANN.

she twice played with Lizst in a piece of his for two pianos. In the early part of 1842 she and her husband made a tour to Hamburg, which she continued alone as far as Copenhagen. Later in that year they were in Vienna together. In 1844 Schumann's health made it necessary to leave Leipzig, and remove to Dresden, where they resided till 1850. During all this time Madame Schumann's life was bound up with her husband's, and they were separated only by the exigencies of her profession. She devoted herself not only to his society, but to the bring- ing out of his music, much of which such as the PF. Concerto, the Quintet, Quartet, and Trios, etc. owed its first reputation to her. In the early part of 1846 Schumann was induced to go to Petersburg, and there his wife met Hen- selt, and had much music with him. In the winter of the same year they were again atVienna, and there Madame Schumann made the acquaint- ance of Jenny Lind for the first time, and the two great artists appeared together at a concert in December. England, though at one time in view, was reserved to a later day. At Paris she has never played since the early visit already spoken of. The trials which this faithful wife must have undergone during the latter part of her husband's life, from his first attempt at self- destruction to his death, July 19, 1856, need only be alluded to here. It was but shortly before the fatal crisis that she made her first visit to England, playing at the Philharmonic on April 14 and 28, at the Musical Union on four separate occasions, and elsewhere, her last ap- pearance being on June 24. On June 1 7 she gave an afternoon 'Recital' at the Hanover-square rooms, the programme of which is worth pre- serving. I. Beethoven, Variations in Eb on Theme from the Eroica; 2. Sterndale Bennett, Two Diversions (op. 1 7) , Suite de pieces (op. 24, no. i) ; 3. Clara Schumann, Variations on theme from Schumann's 'Bunte Blatter'; 4. Brahms, Sarabande and Gavotte in the style of Bach ; 5. Scarlatti, Piece in A major ; 6. R. Schumann's Carnaval (omitting Eusebius, Florestan, Coquette, Replique, Estrella, and Aveu). She returned from London to Bonn just in time to receive her husband's last breath (July 29, 1856).

After this event she and her family resided for some years in Berlin with her mother, who had separated from Wieck and had married a musician named Bargiel ; and in 1863 she settled at Baden Baden, in the Lichtenthal, which then became her usual head-quarters till 1874.

Her reception in this conservative country was hardly such as to encourage her to repeat her visit, and many years passed before she returned. In 1865, however, the appreciation of Schumann's music had greatly increased on this side the Channel ; and the anxiety of amateurs to hear an artist whose fame on the continent was so great and so peculiar became so loudly expressed, that Madame Schumann was induced to make a second visit. She played at the Philharmonic May 29, Musical Union April 18, 25, and June 6, etc. etc. In 1867 she returned again, and after this her

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