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Robert Schumann: Herald of a New Poetic Age
by John Daverio
In Robert Schumann: Herald of a "New Poetic Age, " John Daverio presents the first comprehensive study of the composer's life and works to appear in nearly a century. Long regarded as a quintessentially romantic figure, Schumann also has been portrayed as a profoundly tragic one: a composer who began his career as a genius and ended it as a mere talent. Daverio takes issue ...more
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published April 10th 1997 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published January 1st 1997)
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Most composers of the Romantic era had pretty interesting lives and Schumann is no exception. I really liked the biographical details in this book, such as his battle to marry Clara, his Florestan and Eusebius personalities, and his longtime struggle with mental illness. The author is also very careful and tries to avoid making any assumptions (ie. not insinuating anything went on with Brahms and Clara). There were also lots of great insights into his relationship with literature and how this af ...more
A great biography and a fascinating appreciation of Schumann's work. Schumann was one of the great musical geniuses of the Romantic movement. Daverio is especially adept at pointing out the mastery in Schumann's often overlooked large-scale later works like "Scenes from Goethe's Faust" or "Das Paradies und die Peri", finding no loss in quality due to Schumann's supposed mental illness. Ear-opening and thought-provoking, delves into Schumann's literary interests (Jean-Paul, Hoffmann, Goethe, etc. ...more