Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Friedrich Wieck

Music History Monday: The Compositional Jag

On January 8, 1843 – 175 years ago today – Robert Schumann’s magnificent Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 received its public premiere in the Saxon city of Leipzig. Dedicated to his wife, the pianist Clara Wieck Schumann, the quintet was written during what can only be called a manic, three-year compositional jag. Check it out Robert and Clara were married in 1840. Jig city: in 1840 Schumann composed 135 songs, including the two Liederkreis cycles, and the cycles Frauenliebe und leben and Dichterliebe! The jag, continued: in 1841 he turned to orchestral composition and produced, among other works, his Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major; the Fantasia in A Minor for piano and orchestra (which later became the first movement of his piano concerto); the Overture, Scherzo and Finale in E Major; and he began his Oratorio entitled Das Paradies und die Peri. Then 1842 rolled around and Schumann got freaky. In what is now called his “year of chamber music” he composed – in the span of nine months – the three string quartets of Op. 41; the Piano Quintet in E-flat Major; the Piano Quartet in E-flat Major; and the first of his piano trios, a […]

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