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Title: Robert Schumann - Tone-Poet, Prophet and Critic
Author: Peyser, Herbert F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           HERBERT F. PEYSER



                            Robert Schumann
                               Tone-Poet
                           Prophet and Critic


                          [Illustration: logo]

                      Written for and dedicated to
                                  the
                             RADIO MEMBERS
                                   of
                   THE PHILHARMONIC-SYMPHONY SOCIETY
                              of NEW YORK

                             Copyright 1948
                   THE PHILHARMONIC-SYMPHONY SOCIETY
                              of NEW YORK
                          113 West 57th Street
                           New York 19, N. Y.

             [Illustration: A boyhood picture of Schumann.]



                                FOREWORD


It is obviously impossible in the brief space of the present booklet to
offer more than the sketchiest outline of Robert Schumann’s short life
but amazingly rich achievement. Together with Haydn and Schubert he was,
perhaps, the most completely lovable of the great masters. It is hard,
moreover, to think of a composer more strategically placed in his epoch
or more perfectly timed in his coming. Tone poet, fantast, critic,
visionary, prophet—he was all of these! And he passed through every
phase, it seemed, of romantic experience. The great and even the
semi-great of a fabulous period of music were his intimates—personages
like Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, Moscheles, Ferdinand David, Hiller,
Joachim, Brahms. He won the woman he loved after a bitter struggle
against a tyrannical father-in-law. He created much of the world’s
greatest piano music, many of its loveliest songs, four great
symphonies, superb chamber compositions and a good deal else which, even
today, is insufficiently known or valued. A poetic critic, if ever there
was one, he proclaimed to a world, still indifferent or uncertain, the
greatness of a Chopin and a Brahms. His physical and mental decline was
a tragedy even more poignant than Beethoven’s deafness or the madness of
Hugo Wolf. His life story is, in point of fact, vastly more complex and
many-sided than the following handful of unpretentious and unoriginal
pages suggest. These will have served their purpose if they induce the
reader to familiarize himself more fully with the colorful and endlessly
romantic pattern of Schumann’s vivid life and grand accomplishment.

                                                                H. F. P.



                            ROBERT SCHUMANN
                               _Tone-Poet
                          Prophet and Critic_


                                  _By_
                           HERBERT F. PEYSER


At 9:30 on the evening of June 8, 1810, (the same being Saint Medard’s
Day), the book publisher August Schumann and his wife Johanne
Christiane, living in the Haus am Markt No. 5, Zwickau, Saxony, became
the parents of a boy whom they determined to call Medardus, in honor of
the saint of the occasion. Reasonably well to do if not precisely
affluent they were pleased at the idea of another addition to their
little brood of three boys and a girl—Eduard, Karl, Julius and Emilie,
respectively. Over night they seem to have thought better of saddling
the newcomer with such a name as Medardus and six days later the infant
was carried to the local Church of Saint Mary’s there to be christened
Robert Alexander. In proper season the “Alexander” seems for all
practical purposes to have vanished.

August Schumann had not always dwelt on easy street. Born in 1773 in the
village of Entschütz, near Gera, he was the son of an impecunious
country pastor who, despite his poverty, became a cleric of some
eminence. Unwilling to see the youngster grow up as an object of charity
the preacher gave him four years of high school education, then
apprenticed him to a merchant. But the lad was not cut out for business;
books were his world and in them he sought refuge from the misery of
shopkeeping. Moreover, he soon developed literary aspirations of his own
and, even though a well-meaning book-seller tried to discourage him,
wrote a novel entitled “Scenes of Knighthood and Monkish Legends”. The
unremitting labor of study, writing and business chores told on his
health and for the rest of his life he was never wholly a well man. Yet
nothing could diminish his energies or dampen his ambitions to achieve
the glories of authorship. When he eventually fell in love with a
daughter of one Schnabel, official surgeon of the town of Zeitz, and met
with a downright refusal from that hard-shelled individual to give his
daughter to anyone but a merchant of independent means, August Schumann
was equal to the challenge. For a year and a half he wrote day and
night, saved up about $750 (a respectable sum at the time) opened a shop
in partnership with a friend in the town of Ronneberg, married
Schnabel’s daughter and was happy. A circulating library formed an
adjunct to the store and the new Mrs. Schumann divided her time between
handling books and selling goods. Her husband for his part combined the
satisfactions of an extremely prolific authorship with the management of
a bookshop, not to mention the direction of a prosperous business. In
1808 he moved to Zwickau where he founded the publishing house of
Schumann Brothers, which lasted till 1840. The firm brought out among
other things translations of the works of Sir Walter Scott and Lord
Byron. One of its showpieces was a so-called “Picture Gallery of the
Most Famous Men of all Nations and Ages”. At 14 Robert busily puttered
around the place, reading proofs and performing many of the other odd
jobs common to printing establishments.

       [Illustration: Schumann’s birthplace in Zwickau, Saxony.]

For all his zeal and strength of character August Schumann paid the
price of his unsparing toil in the shape of a nervous malady complicated
by other ailments and attended by accesses of profound melancholy. He
died on Aug. 10, 1826. His children without exception inherited the
diseased strain. Curiously enough, about the only quality Robert could
not regard as an outright heritage was his musical talent. His father
had none of it and his mother only the most superficial trace. She was
an excellent housewife and a tender soul but of wholly provincial
mentality (which explains, perhaps, why her restlessly active husband
chose her as his mate). Robert looked like his mother and loved her
devotedly. But his features were about the sole birthright he owed her.
From his father, on the other hand, he acquired virtually all of those
qualities which were to fertilize his greatest inspirations—ambition,
high principle, productive activity, imagination, poetic fantasy,
whimsicality, the gift of literary expression and even to a certain
degree that shrewd practical sense which marked some of his business
dealings. Yet to none of his immediate forbears does he seem to have
been indebted for his musical instincts as such.

Robert’s early upbringing was chiefly the business of his mother. His
father, swamped by literary and mercantile pursuits, had no time for
nursery duties. Possibly the child would have been less spoiled if a
paternal hand had more actively guided him. As it was, Robert became not
only his mother’s darling but the pet of every woman of her large
acquaintance. He had his way in everything and in later years this error
of his early training was reflected in the irritation he sometimes
showed when crossed in his wishes. All the same, this female adulation
did not soften the lad who, at the age of six, was sent to the private
school run by an Archdeacon Döhner. In the games and sports of his
comrades he was as wild and turbulent as the roughest of them.
Nevertheless, he did not neglect his school work and exhibited a lively
intelligence. Music fascinated him early. A pupil from a Latin school,
one August Vollert, who obtained free board at the Schumann home in
exchange for a bit of teaching, gave Robert a little elementary
instruction in the art, though hardly systematic guidance. The spark was
kindled, however. At seven the boy composed a few little dances. We need
not say “wrote”, for these trifles were chiefly improvised on the piano.
One aspect of his gift manifested itself early—a knack for
“characterizing” people in tone with a kind of delineative justness that
both moved and amused listeners. The child was obviously father to the
man who composed the “Carnival”!

In Zwickau at the time there was no better musician than Johann
Gottfried Kuntzsch, who long before Robert was born, had gained a
certain distinction by conducting a performance of Haydn’s “Creation”.
August Schumann, who secretly hoped that his youngest boy might become
such a poet as he himself had always aspired to be, resolved to
cultivate that musical talent which was beginning to flower. It was to
the care of Kuntzsch, therefore, that he confided him. We know little of
the kind of teaching Robert enjoyed at this stage. Frederick Niecks
surmises that it may have consisted “in little more than telling the
pupil what to practise and the first elementary rules of fingering ...
in short, prescription without exemplification, happy-go-lucky chance
without purposeful system”. Niecks adds that Kuntzsch’s pupils could
never be sure of escaping a box on the ear and that “on one occasion
Robert’s bad timekeeping was even corrected by a stout blackthorn”. Yet
Robert preserved a good opinion of Kuntzsch all his life and as late as
1832 wrote asking permission to dedicate a composition to “the only one
who recognized the predominating musical talent in me and indicated
betimes the path along which, sooner or later, my good genius was to
guide me”.

In 1820 Robert entered the Zwickau Lyceum (“Gymnasium”) to emerge, eight
years later, with a certificate inscribed with a flattering _eximie
dignus_. He was a personable youngster, blond, bright-eyed, sensitive,
temperamental, prankish. The two subjects particularly dear to his heart
were music and literature. His teachers thought kindly of his talent for
languages. An uncommonly developed instinct for rhythm and meter
expressed itself in effusions of poetry. At home he spent much time
concocting “robber comedies” and producing them with the assistance of
his schoolmates. Meanwhile, he was carrying on his musical studies with
the son of a local bandmaster. The two became fast friends, played
overtures and symphonies in four hand arrangements and even tackled
compositions by Hummel and Czerny. Kuntzsch was anything but pleased by
his pupil’s displays of independence. Not having been consulted about
the latter’s music-making he suddenly declared that Robert could now
shift for himself. Yet when Kuntzsch produced an oratorio by F.
Schneider at Saint Mary’s Church, young Schumann played the piano
accompaniments while his father, though unmusical, beamed approvingly.
Indeed, August Schumann did everything to further his son’s musical
inclinations. The paternal publishing firm obtained gratis quantities of
music from which Robert was free to take his pick and choice. Father
Schumann provided plenty of music stands for household concerts and
bought a Streicher piano. With some of his musical comrades Robert
produced at home a setting of the 150th Psalm he had composed. A little
earlier he had heard a concert by the celebrated Ignaz Moscheles on a
trip to Karlsbad in his father’s company. For a long time he was fired
with the ambition to study with this virtuoso. Nothing came of it but
the youth preserved the program of that recital like a sacred relic.

Zwickau duly woke up to the accomplishments of the wonderchild in its
midst. The more prominent citizens invited him to play at their homes.
At the evening musicales of the “Gymnasium” he performed things like
Moscheles’ Variations on the Alexander March and showpieces by Herz,
much in vogue at the time. August, who had no use for half-baked
artists, thought of placing his boy under Karl Maria von Weber. But just
about this time Weber embarked on the journey to London from which he
was never to return alive. One person who was more pleased than grieved
by the mischance was Mother Schumann, who harbored an insurmountable
dread of the “breadless profession” for her idolized boy. Never did she
tire of describing its miseries, the better to scare him off. Why not
adopt a lucrative profession? The law, for instance. And so, for the
time being, Robert remained in Zwickau, obtaining, as he used to say
later, “an ordinary high school training, studying music on the side and
out of the fulness of his devotion”—but alone! In the broadest sense he
was to grow up like his father—self-taught.

Adolescence subdued the wildness which had so often characterized the
schoolboy. More and more Robert became a dreamer. He grew selective,
too, in his choice of friends, of whom he had relatively few. One who
stood closest to him was his sister-in-law, Therese, the wife of his
brother Eduard. August Schumann, who had always hoped that this youngest
son might inherit his own literary and poetic tastes, lived long enough
to see the boy’s talents developing along these lines. Robert kept
diaries, note books, memoranda for verses and similar jottings. He was
scrupulously honest with himself; in one scrapbook, for instance, he
made this entry after some rhymed lines: “It was my dear mother who
composed this lovely and simple poem”. In another case he wrote: “By my
father”, and elsewhere: “Not by me”. Once he made a timid effort to
break into print and sent some of his effusions to Theodor Hell
(otherwise Karl Winkler), of the Dresden _Abendzeitung_. He got them
back.

A 17 he became acquainted with the writings of Jean Paul Richter, then
at the peak of his romantic fame. Perhaps none of Robert’s youthful
encounters influenced him so profoundly. Jean Paul colored in one
fashion or another everything he was to write or compose for years to
come. They were kindred souls—both the poet of lyric sentimentalisms,
fantastic humors, moonlight raptures, dawns, twilights, tender ecstasies
and other stage settings and properties of romanticism, and his ardent
and sensitive young worshipper. But if more than any other Jean Paul
fired Robert’s literary impulses it was Franz Schubert who lent wings to
his musical fancy. His experience of Schubert began at the home of Dr.
Ernst August Carus and his wife, Agnes, exceptionally cultured musical
amateurs. Schubert was one of their particular enthusiasms and Robert,
whom the couple quickly took to their hearts (they nicknamed him
“Fridolin”, after a gentle page boy in one of Schiller’s ballads),
played four hand compositions with Mrs. Carus, heard her sing Schubert
songs and became familiar with a good deal of other music, including
that of Spohr. Robert would not have been himself had he not come to
look upon the worthy lady with a kind of exalted devotion. Soon we find
him expressing the state of his feelings in his best (or worst!) Jean
Paul manner: “I feel now for the first time the pure, the highest love,
which does not for ever sip from the intoxicating cup of sensual
pleasures, but finds its happiness only in tender contemplation and in
reverence.... Were I a smile, I would hover round her eyes; were I joy,
I would skip softly through her pulses; were I a tear I would weep with
her; and if she then smiled again, I would gladly die on her eyelash and
gladly—yes, gladly—be no more”.

                                 * * *

Shortly after his father’s death he had suffered two cases of calf
love—one for a person called Liddy, the other for a certain Nanni. First
he found them “glorious maidens”, whom he longed to adore like the
madonnas he felt sure they were. In the next moment they became
“narrow-hearted souls”, ignorant of the Utopia in which he lived.

This Utopia, by the way, was bathed in champagne. All his life champagne
was his favorite beverage, even as it was of his great contemporary,
Richard Wagner, though like Wagner he would modulate now and then to
beer or a glass of wine. Both masters craved their champagne whether
they had the price of it or not. And Robert in his student days only too
often “had not”. His biographer, Niecks, notes disapprovingly that
Schumann’s “worst failing” was: “He had no sense of the value of money
and found it impossible to square his allowance with his expenditures”.
When his funds ran out he had a remedy for replenishing them. Again like
Wagner, he seems to have been a virtuoso in the art of writing begging
letters that generally brought results. If his mother, his brothers, his
sisters-in-law, his crusty old guardian, Rudel, ever hesitated a threat
of the pawn-shop or the money-lender was always efficacious. No wonder
Christiane Schumann was frightened by the idea that her Robert might,
for all her efforts, land in the “breadless profession”. Successful
barristers might easily indulge their champagne tastes but certainly not
musicians lacking even “beer pocketbooks”!

In Schneeberg, a town near Zwickau, Robert played publicly and with
immense success a concerto movement by Kalkbrenner. Alone among his
enthusiastic listeners his mother remained cool. Soon her wishes
prevailed and, though both she and Rudel were aware of the youth’s
“eternal soul struggle” between music and the law, Robert made a promise
of a sort to embrace jurisprudence. And so, at Easter, 1828, we find him
enrolled at the University of Leipzig as a “studiosus juris”. Scarcely
arrived in Leipzig he struck up a warm friendship with another law
student, Gisbert Rosen, who shared Robert’s poetic enthusiasms,
particularly his devotion to Jean Paul. Rosen was on the point of
removing to Heidelberg to continue his legal studies and Schumann
quickly formed a plan to accompany his friend on his journey, with a few
stopovers on the way. After a short visit to Zwickau the two made a
pilgrimage to Bayreuth, where Jean Paul’s widow still lived and where
the young men visited every spot which had been sanctified by the
presence of their idol. They continued to Munich by way of Nürnberg and
Augsburg, where Robert obtained from a friend of his father a letter of
introduction to Heinrich Heine, then in Munich. He had a lively
conversation with the poet. Possibly if the latter had been able to
foresee that the youth before him would become, some years later, one of
the greatest musical interpreters of his lyrics he might have treated
him with more warmth than he did.

The law was quite as chilling and distasteful as he had foreseen. In a
few weeks he wrote to his mother telling, among other things, that “cold
jurisprudence, which crushes one with its icy-cold definitions at the
very beginning, cannot please me. Medicine I will not and theology I
cannot study.... Yet there is no other way. I must tackle jurisprudence,
however cold, however dry it may be.... All will go well and I won’t
look with anxious eyes into the future which can still be so happy if I
do not falter”. Actually, Robert’s mind was made up from the start. He
would continue with the law only as long as he had to. Before renouncing
it altogether he would try the University of Heidelberg, where his
friend Rosen was studying and the sympathetic and extremely musical
jurist, Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut, was lecturing.

                                 * * *

The unromantic and featureless environment of Leipzig at first repelled
the youth, who keenly missed the amiable surroundings of his native
Zwickau. Neither was he happy among the rowdy, swashbuckling students,
ever penniless, ever drunk, ever ridiculous in their notions of
“patriotism”. For a while Robert was a member of some of the
“Burschenschaften”, the student clubs, though he shunned his rough
associates as much as he could. In one respect, however, he resembled
them—he was continually poor and everlastingly driven to borrowing.

Unquestionably the circle of acquaintances Robert made during his first
days in Leipzig was not large, though he was very happy to find his old
friends from Zwickau, Dr. and Mrs. Carus. At their home he met some
musicians of prominence—Heinrich Marschner, then conductor of the
Leipzig Stadttheater; Gottlob Wiedebein, a song composer of some
distinction at the time; and two people who, almost more than any
others, were destined to play crucial roles in his life—the piano
teacher, Friedrich Wieck, and his nine-year-old daughter, Clara, whom
her father was assiduously grooming for a great artistic career.

                                 * * *

Wieck, in particular, was a rather extraordinary if unsympathetic
person. He had had a difficult and impecunious youth, kept body and soul
together by giving music lessons for a few pennies a week and subsisted
largely on the bounty of friendly families who invited him, now and
then, to a dinner of roast mutton and string beans. He aspired to become
a minister, studied theology but preached no more than a trial sermon.
He was something of a traveler and had been to Vienna, where he met
Beethoven. The privations and troubles of his youth hardened his
character. His first wife stood his spectacular tantrums for eight
years, then obtained a divorce and married a Berlin musician named
Bargiel. By this second marriage the mother of Clara Wieck had a son,
Woldemar, who later made a name for himself as a composer.

Though a hard-boiled martinet and, as time went on, a tyrant of the
first order, Wieck was not wholly without good qualities. His
unscrupulous treatment of Schumann and his own daughter has made him the
object of much historical obloquy, in the main abundantly justified. Yet
he was a good teacher, for all his irascible, disputatious ways and his
devotion to the artistic causes he believed in could be very genuine.
From the first he appreciated Schumann’s creative talent and never
concealed the fact, outrageously as he came to demean himself to the
composer and Clara alike. Clara was, of course, her father’s most famous
pupil. Yet he had others, notably his daughter by his second marriage,
Marie, and Hans von Bülow. The qualities he aimed to cultivate in his
pupils were, according to Clara, “the finest taste, the profoundest
feeling and the most delicate hearing”. To this end he demanded that his
students listen to great singers as much as possible and even learn to
sing themselves.

Exactly a year after he had come to Leipzig Robert was off to Heidelberg
there, ostensibly, to carry on his legal studies with Thibaut and
another famous jurist, Mittermeier. Yet what chiefly busied him at
Heidelberg was not jurisprudence but music. Under the teaching which, in
Leipzig, he had begun to enjoy with Wieck he was developing into a first
rate virtuoso and stirred all who heard him, especially by his fantastic
skill in improvisation. Before long he was turning down invitations to
concertize in places like Mannheim and Mainz. He practised tirelessly,
played, composed, read, “poetized” and became one of the social lions of
the neighborhood as well. Out of his old guardian, back in Zwickau, he
wheedled money enough to defray the expenses of a summer jaunt to Italy.
Shortly after his return he heard Paganini in Frankfort and reacted to
the overwhelming impression in much the same manner as his contemporary,
Liszt, and in an earlier day, Schubert. It was out of this revelation of
diabolical virtuosity that his piano transcriptions of certain Paganini
violin Caprices—overshadowed subsequently by those of Liszt—were to
grow.

To his mother Robert confided little about his creative achievements in
his Heidelberg days, the better to prepare her for the more remunerative
plan he was forming of a virtuoso career. Yet in this period he
conceived several works which were to become part of the foundations of
his fame—things like the “Abegg” Variations, the “Papillons”, the
superb, vertiginous Toccata. To be sure, the “Papillons” were only begun
in Heidelberg and the Toccata revised several years later. A word,
however, about the “Abegg” Variations, the composer’s Op. 1. The theme
is one of those “alphabetical” inspirations he was to utilize even more
imaginatively later on. That is to say it is based on the note
succession A, B flat, E, G, G, and its inversion. Schumann had, indeed,
known a flirtatious Meta Abegg in nearby Mannheim and had developed a
tender feeling for her. Yet when he published the work he found it wiser
to resort to mystification and so he dedicated it to an imaginary
Countess Pauline von Abegg, who served the purpose just as well. The
“Abegg” Variations, though unmistakable Schumann, have rather less than
their creator’s subsequent technical ingenuity and seem more like
outgrowths of the virtuoso principles of Hummel and Weber.

But the elaborate dreamings and light-hearted pleasures of Heidelberg
could not go on forever. On July 30, 1830, Robert took the bull by the
horns and confided to his mother that music, not law, was for weal or
woe to be his destiny. Wieck was invited to settle the question. That
awesome pedagogue wrote to the widow Schumann a long and circumstantial
letter, larded with many an “if” and “but”. Having considered the
problem from every angle he urged the good woman to yield to her son’s
wish. Robert, so Wieck assured her, could under his training become one
of the foremost pianists of the time. If the plan misfired he could
always return to his legal studies.

To every intent the youth’s course was now clear and, for all time, he
was freed from his nightmare. Back in Leipzig Robert took up his
residence in the Wieck home, the quicker to pursue his pianistic
studies. But in one thing he was less moderate than his teacher could
have wished; he obstinately declined to make haste slowly. He would
become a great pianist, yet he wanted a short cut to that goal. The idea
of practising dull finger exercises for hours on end every day revolted
him. Already in Heidelberg he had discussed with his friend, Töpken, a
project for overcoming the weakness of the fourth finger. He found an
excuse for breaking off his lessons with Wieck a little while and, with
his fourth finger held up by some home-made contrivance, he practised
furiously in solitude. Precisely what happened we do not know. The first
intimation that something was amiss emanated from a letter written to
his brother, Eduard, on June 14, 1832. Eduard is instructed to show this
passage to his mother: “Eduard will inform you of the strange misfortune
that has befallen me. This is the reason of a journey to Dresden which I
am going to take with Wieck. Although I undertake it on the advice of my
doctor and also for distraction I must do a good deal of work as well
there”. Soon afterwards he wrote that his room “looked like an
apothecary’s shop”. For years to come letters to one person or another
speak of treatments and cures, prospects of improvement or stubborn
developments which promise to futilize all his virtuoso ambitions. The
long and the short of it was that Robert had so incurably lamed his
right hand that for purposes of a public career it was as good as
useless. After a fashion he could still play piano; but the particular
glory to which he aspired was nipped in the bud.

                                 * * *

Who shall say that the accident was an unmitigated misfortune? Would
Schumann have bequeathed us the treasures he did had he wandered
incessantly over the map of Europe to gain the transient rewards of an
itinerant pianist? Would his characteristic style of piano writing have
been what it is? It has been surmised that certain distinctive traits of
it are, directly or indirectly, the products of his self-made physical
disability. And can we be sure that the nervous instability associated
with the inherited illness of the entire Schumann line might not have
struck him down even earlier, precipitated by the worries and strains to
which an executant is forever subject? If Robert still wished to be a
musician it had to be in a creative sense.

Under the circumstances he would require a fuller training than he had
yet enjoyed in the technic of composition. Wieck had recommended for a
master in theory none other than Cantor Weinlig, the teacher of his own
daughter, Clara, and of a certain irresponsible young firebrand named
Richard Wagner. Robert did not accept the suggestion. Instead he became
a pupil of Heinrich Dorn, recently come to Leipzig, who promised to be a
more progressive person. Schumann esteemed Dorn personally and long
remained his friend. But soon he was writing to Wieck and his daughter,
then off on a concert tour: “I shall never be able to amalgamate with
Dorn; he wishes to get me to believe that music is fugue—heavens! how
different men are....” Nevertheless he slaved away at his exercises in
double counterpoint and when the study became too intolerably dry he
moistened it with draughts of champagne! His best lessons in
counterpoint he obtained from Bach, who was to remain his supreme
divinity all his life. The fugues of the Well Tempered Clavier he
analyzed “down to the smallest detail.” When in his melancholy late days
he received a visit from the young Czech, Bedrich Smetana, with a plea
to advise him about musical studies, the taciturn master said no more
than: “Study Bach”. “But I have studied Bach”, protested Smetana. “Study
him again”, replied the declining composer and relapsed into moody
silence.

It was at Dorn’s home, incidentally, that Schumann made his first
acquaintance with Wagner, to whom he played the “Abegg” Variations.
Wagner did not care for them on account of their “excess of figuration”.
Nevertheless, they soon found a publisher. When the firm of Probst
brought out the work the composer was in the highest measure elated,
promised each of his Heidelberg acquaintances a free copy and wrote that
“his first marriage with the wide world” made him feel as proud as the
Doge of Venice at his ceremonial wedding with the Adriatic! The critics
were, on the whole, encouraging, though the notorious Rellstab in his
review “Iris” deplored the lack in it of any canon or fugue and made fun
of “a name one can compose”.

                                 * * *

With the children in the Wieck home Robert was a great favorite. What
the youngsters especially enjoyed were the charades he was in the habit
of devising for their pleasure, the frightening ghost stories he
improvised for them day after day and his shivery enactment of the
various spooks. Riddles, fairy tales—there was seemingly no end of the
parlor tricks he knew how to provide on the spur of the moment for the
tots. This deep understanding of children and their psychology was
bound, sooner or later, to find artistic expression and lovely
embodiment in music like the “Kinderscenen” and the “Album for the
Young”, the one with its “Träumerei”, the other with its “Happy Farmer”.

 [Illustration: The first sketch for The Happy Farmer, from the “Album
                        for the Young,” Op. 68.]

His grown-up friends he endeavored to choose only among people who
genuinely interested him and who shared his tastes. Persons who could
not partake his high-flown enthusiasm for Jean Paul or for Bach amounted
almost to mortal enemies! As for Clara, his early feelings toward the
talented daughter of Wieck were scarcely more than a brother-and-sister
affection, even though some of his more extravagant biographers have
written nonsense about him worshipping her “like a pilgrim from afar
some holy altar-piece”. In his diaries one can find such entries as:
“Clara was silly and scared”, “With Clara arm in arm”, “Clara was
stubborn and wild”, “Clara plays gloriously”, “She plays like a cavalry
rider”, “The ‘Papillons’ she plays uncertainly and without
understanding”! And so it goes in continual contradiction. We must bear
in mind, however, that Clara was then only about 12 and, however
artistically precocious, hardly more than a child. Her father had seen
to it that she studied violin and singing and had stiff courses in
theory and composition. But it was only after she had been in Paris in
Wieck’s company and known Chopin, Mendelssohn, Kalkbrenner, Herz and
other great personages of the day that she matured into a young woman
who, as Robert said, “could give orders like a Leonore”.

For his part Schumann was composing industriously. It is necessary to
bear in mind that his early work, which comprises some of his greatest,
is almost exclusively for the piano. Songs form his second creative
stage, then chamber, then orchestral music. To be sure, choral works, an
opera and miscellaneous creations sometimes cut athwart the other
categories. But his works can be easily arranged in their respective
classifications. The “Papillons” is probably the first masterpiece which
achieved what might be called universality. Doubtless Schumann would
have been grieved that anyone should think of the fantastic little dance
movements and mood pictures which constitute the set without
appreciating their relationship to Jean Paul and his “Flegeljahre”. But
the whirligig of time has quite reversed the position of Schumann’s
enamoring miniatures and the faded romantic work which inspired them.
Today we remember the “Flegeljahre” chiefly because the “Papillons”,
after a fashion, recalls it to our attention. But it would be erroneous
to imagine that Jean Paul exclusively, accounts for those captivating
musical fancies that we meet in this Op. 2—the clock which strikes six
at the close, indicating that the imaginary throng of revelers is
dispersing; the chord which dissolves, bit by bit, till only a single
note remains; the “Grandfathers’ March”, typifying the old fogies and
Philistines generally (an ancient tune of folk character, which Bach had
introduced into his “Peasant Cantata” many years earlier). Not without
reason could Schumann claim “that Bach and Jean Paul exercised the
greatest influence on me in my early days”.

                                 * * *

Let us at this point enumerate a few of the men and women who were
gradually coming into Schumann’s orbit, who became, more or less,
fixtures in his circle, or else grazed its circumference and went their
different ways. Among one of the first names we encounter are those of
Henriette Voigt, a lady whom Robert was presently to call “his A flat
soul”, and Ernestine von Fricken, from the town of Asch, just across the
Czech border. Ernestine was a lively and coquettish young person, an
adopted illegitimate child, who fascinated Robert, to whom she briefly
became engaged, and who passed out of his life as breezily as she had
come into it. But if Ernestine was hardly more than a butterfly Robert
nevertheless immortalized her. She is the Estrella of the “Carnival” for
one thing; and, for another, it was on her account that he utilized in a
diversity of ways the musical motto embodied in the letters of her home
town, Asch. These “Sphinxes” as the composer called the series of
long-held notes (A flat, C, B natural, E flat, C, B, and A, E flat, C
and B) are combinations which constitute the basis of numerous pieces in
the “Carnival”. They are not only letters which form the name of “Asch”
but are also common to that of “Schumann”. Robert was plainly indulging
in some more of his little romantic whimsies, mystifications or
epigrams!

Other names we must mention—irrespective of chronology—include Ludwig
Schunke, an uncommonly sympathetic young pianist, who succumbed early to
consumption; Carl Banck, Julius Knorr, A. W. F. Zuccalmaglio, Felix
Mendelssohn, Frédéric Francois Chopin, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt,
Richard Wagner, Ferdinand Hiller, Robert Franz. The list might run on
indefinitely!

                                 * * *

These individuals were, for the most part, Davidsbündler. Let us briefly
explain: The “League of the Davidites” was an imaginary company, a
creation of Schumann’s fancy, composed of many of his friends who
appeared to think as he did and were moved by fresh musical and poetic
impulses. Their sworn duty was to war on those stodgy traditionalists
who harbored principles which impeded artistic progress. Imaginary
apostles of the biblical David, the giant killer, they were sworn to
smite the Philistines of music, defend and uphold novel, adventurous and
worthy trends, publicize or advance indubitable merit and, each after
his own fashion, promote the vital and the soundly revolutionary.
Schumann enhanced the play-acting spirit of the movement by investing
various members of the fraternity with fanciful names. He himself, in
true Jean Paul spirit, gave distinctive labels to the opposing aspects
of his own creative soul. Thus his fiery, soaring, active personality he
called “Florestan”; the tender, dreamy, passive part of his nature he
identified as “Eusebius”. When, as sometimes happened, these two
irrepressible Davidites threatened to get out of hand, there was called
in a moderator to re-establish sanity and balance—one Master Raro, whose
model in real life seems to have been Friedrich Wieck. The cast of
characters further included “Chiara”, “Chiarina” and “Zilia”—otherwise
Clara Wieck; “Felix Meritis”, a thin disguise for Felix Mendelssohn;
“Julius”, in actuality Knorr; “Serpentinus”, Carl Banck; “Eleanore”,
Henriette Voigt; “St. Diamond”, Zuccalmaglio, and so on for quantity!

As a mouthpiece for his idealistic band Schumann founded, in April 1834,
the _Neue Zeitschrift für Musik_—a periodical which endured for over a
century. Part of the time he was its acting editor and in any case
certain of its most penetrating and prophetic criticisms were his own
contributions. Possibly the most famous of these was the jubilant
salutation of Chopin’s early Variations on Mozart’s “La ci darem”. This
is the article entitled “An Opus 2”, which begins with the excited
entrance of “Florestan” shouting to his fellow Davidites those words
that have become something like a household expression: “Hats off,
gentlemen, a genius!” The other is that greeting to the youthful Brahms,
a kind of visionary glorification entitled “New Paths”, written for the
_Neue Zeitschrift_ almost on the threshold of Schumann’s last illness
and including that pathetic cry: “How I should like to be at the side of
the young eagle in his flight over the world!”

A stronghold of conservatism such as Leipzig was not the most fertile
ground for a journal like the _Zeitschrift_. More than once Schumann
thought very seriously of transferring it to Vienna, which had had such
resplendent musical associations and promised much. But when he went
there and considered the prospects his heart sank. What chance had such
a paper in a city where the iron hand of Metternich unmercifully crushed
the life out of every vestige of liberalism and progress? Still,
Schumann’s various trips to Vienna were not wholly unproductive. The
city provided the inspiration for one of his most treasurable piano
works, the buoyant “Faschingschwank aus Wien”. In the first movement of
this Robert gave his sly humor and spirit of mockery momentary play by
incorporating into the texture of the exuberant music a phrase from the
“Marseillaise”, which Metternich’s henchmen had sternly forbidden in the
Austrian Empire. Then, too, in Vienna he made the acquaintance of
Schubert’s brother, Ferdinand, in whose home countless musical treasures
were gathering dust. One of those which he was able to rescue from
oblivion was Schubert’s great C major Symphony, which he dispatched to
Mendelssohn in Leipzig, who in turn conducted it at a concert of the
Gewandhaus.

                                 * * *

But we are anticipating! What should concern us now is the courtship of
Clara by Robert which, though it ended happily, was actually a long
martyrdom for both and in the best traditions of romantic melodrama. To
be sure it left a deep imprint on Schumann’s creative fancy and for
this, if for no other reason, the soul struggle was a cloud lined with
shining silver. Almost all the piano works of the composer’s early
period—in some ways the most yeasty and influential music he gave the
world—are in one way or another the fruits of his love.

Clara was nine years younger than her future husband. Their first
relationship was, as he had remarked, a thoroughgoing brother and sister
one. Robert always admired the pianistic talents of Wieck’s daughter
though he never hesitated to criticise defects that came to his
attention. But there was hardly a serious love angle to the familiarity.
It had been different with the shallow but provocative Ernestine von
Fricken, who for some time made her home at the Wieck residence as a
piano pupil, and applied her coquetries so successfully to Robert’s
susceptible heart that before a year was out he had bought her an
engagement ring.

Clara, though she made no complaints, doubtless suspected with her
feminine intuition how matters were shaping themselves. At one time
Schumann’s mother had said to her: “Some day you must marry my Robert”.
Clara never forgot the remark which seemed to be dictated by a kind of
presentiment. Somewhat later he told Clara that she was “his oldest
love”; and he added: “Ernestine had to come on the scene the better to
unite us”. But at this stage Clara’s father gave her little time for
brooding even if she had been disposed to indulge in any. He worked her
hard, took her on concert tours, culminating in the one to Paris. When
she returned home from one of the longest of these absences, Robert was
the first caller at the Wiecks’. What impressed her most was what she
considered Robert’s coolness; he gave her “hardly so much as a passing
greeting”, she later complained to a woman friend. Actually, it was
shyness at his sudden realization that Clara was no longer a child but a
lovely girl which struck him dumb.

Not till she had gone off on another tour was he a little more explicit.
In a letter he wrote her from Zwickau he said: “Through all the joys and
heavenly glories of autumn there gazes out an angel’s face, a perfect
likeness of a certain Clara whom I well know”; and he ended with “you
know how dear you are to me”. Even at that there was no question on
either side of outspoken love. There was much music-making to absorb the
pair, and musical friends were thronging Leipzig. Mendelssohn arrived
and the Davidsbündler jubilated at his coming. Chopin, whom Clara had
already met in Paris, was steered by Mendelssohn directly to the Wieck
home, where Clara was made to play something of Schumann’s—in this case
the F sharp minor Sonata—and then some Chopin Etudes and a concerto
movement. Chopin in his turn performed some of his Nocturnes. The
fanciful Robert wrote: “Chopin has been here. Florestan rushed upon him.
I saw them arm in arm, floating rather than walking—Eusebius”!

Then, one November night, on the eve of another of Clara’s concert trips
with her father, Robert called to say farewell for some weeks. At the
foot of the stairs down which she lighted him he turned and impulsively
took her in his arms. The lightning had struck. “When you gave me the
first kiss”, Clara wrote later, “a faintness came over me; everything
went black before my eyes; I could scarcely hold the light which was to
show you the way”. He went over to Zwickau to hear her. She kissed him
again and during the recital he sat in the audience thinking: “There she
sits, dainty and lovable in her blue dress, loved and applauded by all,
and yet she is mine alone. She knows I am here but must pretend to be
unaware of me. You cannot give me so much as one look, you, Clara, in
your blue dress!”

For a short time they kept their secret, but Wieck was not long in
ferreting out the truth. And now began a conflict which might easily
have wrecked the happiness, not to say the lives, of any two sensitive
young people less determined and fundamentally hard-headed than this
pair. For Robert things were complicated at the outset by the death of
his mother, following shortly that of his brother, Julius, and his
sister-in-law, Rosalie. The sadistic hate and the almost psychopathic
villainy with which Wieck now over a space of years persecuted his
daughter and her beloved have been variously explained. It has been
claimed—perhaps not wholly without reason—that he was fully aware of the
malady which lurked in the Schumann family. Instability and morbid
depression had assailed Robert’s sensitive spirit as early as 1833 and
he became afflicted with a fear of insanity which was to grow on him
and, in the end, to destroy him. Moreover, Wieck, though he prized
Schumann’s creative gift highly, questioned the solidity of his material
position and the brightness of his prospects. But not even these
considerations could really justify such elaborate meanness and
robustious fury. There was literally nothing at which he would stop. He
threatened at one stage to shoot Robert if ever he crossed the Wieck
threshold. He forbade all correspondence between the two lovers. He
intrigued against the pair ceaselessly, intercepted letters, lied,
conspired. More than once Schumann was driven to desperation by Clara’s
long periods of apparent silence. Wieck encouraged Carl Banck to visit
his house, then circulated rumors that his daughter had fallen in love
with that friend of Robert’s. On one of her visits to Vienna with her
father poor Clara, wishing to write to Robert but fearing that the
removal of an inkstand for a few minutes might arouse Wieck’s
suspicions, found it necessary to tiptoe endlessly from one room to
another in order to dip her pen. Her faithful maid, Nanny, abetted her
in all her ruses and when, in Leipzig, Clara exchanged a few hurried
words with Robert on a dark street corner Nanny stood guard to make sure
the coast was clear.

Clara, planning another concert trip to Paris where a smashing artistic
success might bring her independence, was horrified to learn that her
father washed his hands of the whole scheme and bade her go alone,
taking care of all the complicated arrangements of concertizing as best
she could. It was a harrowing experience, for the first thing she did
was almost to succumb to the wiles of an impostor in Stuttgart. Then,
when she reached Paris (her French, incidentally, was very imperfect),
she learned to her dismay that all of her more influential friends and
colleagues—Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, Paganini among them—were not
there as she had expected. Having inherited not a little of her father’s
obstinacy Clara stuck it out and, without conquering the French capital,
broadened her experience in many ways, even to the extent of learning to
cook, and cementing new and valuable friendships, such as one with the
singer, Pauline Garcia, which was to endure for a lifetime.

Despite the machinations of Wieck Clara, back in Germany, found a means
of making her feelings known to Robert. A devoted friend, Ernst Adolf
Becker, suggested that she perform at a Leipzig concert one of Robert’s
works. She chose the “Symphonic Studies” (the theme of which the
composer had obtained from the Baron von Fricken, the adoptive father of
Ernestine). Wieck approved. Tyrant as he was he still kept a soft spot
in his heart for Schumann’s music. The composer came to the hall, sat
inconspicuously at the rear, listened and—knew! In a flash he understood
that when she had lately returned him a package of his letters un-opened
she had been acting under duress.

They still had much to bear, but greatly as it revolted them they
realized that the only solution of their difficulties lay in a legal
decision. To law, accordingly, they went. Bit by bit Wieck’s case
disintegrated. With the help of a friendly advocate Robert was able to
show that his means were ample to support a family. Then Wieck played
what he believed would be his trump card. He maintained that Schumann
was a drunkard! Instantly Robert’s friends rallied to his support,
Mendelssohn even declaring himself ready to testify in court that the
accusation was outrageously false. On August 12, 1840, the decision was
handed down in favor of the sorely tried couple and their marriage
received judicial sanction.

On Sept. 5, she gave a concert in Weimar, “my last as Clara Wieck”. One
week later (and a day before Clara’s twenty-first birthday), they were
married at Schönefeld, a tiny suburb of Leipzig. On the previous evening
Robert had brought her a bridal offering richer than fine gold—the song
cycle, “Myrthen”, inclosing such deathless blooms as “Die Lotosblume”,
“Der Nussbaum”, “Du bist wie eine Blume”, “Widmung”. And when they
returned from church next morning Clara wrote in her diary: “A period of
my life is now closed.... Now a new life is beginning, a beautiful life,
a life in him whom I love above all, above myself. But grave duties rest
with me, too...”.

                                 * * *

The period through which we have passed witnessed the birth of many of
Schumann’s greatest piano compositions—the “Davidsbündler Tänze”, the
“Carnival”, the F sharp minor Sonata, the “Kinderscenen”, the “Symphonic
Studies”, the “Kreisleriana”, the C major Fantasie, the
“Fantasiestücke”—things which along with others scarcely less great,
were to become what might be called daily bread of pianists. His circle
of musical friends was steadily widening. Those he esteemed most highly,
perhaps, were Mendelssohn and Chopin. Mendelssohn was to both Robert and
Clara nothing less than a god. The strange thing about this friendship
is that, much as the Schumanns worshipped Mendelssohn’s music,
Mendelssohn, to the end of his days, had virtually nothing to say on the
subject of Schumann’s. No doubt its novelty, its bold fantasy, its
unprecedented imaginative qualities were in a measure alien to
Mendelssohn’s ideals of formal logic, clarity, order. It was not in his
artistic nature to enjoy the work of a composer who, like Schumann,
“dreamed with the pedal down”. By the same token it was the fluency,
technical ease and polished workmanship in Mendelssohn’s scores which
Robert held in such envious admiration. Yet with all his skill it is
certain that Mendelssohn could never, for one thing, have painted so
unapproachable a portrait in tones of his friend Chopin as Schumann
achieved in one of the most extraordinary pages of the “Carnival”.

Liszt was another master with whom Schumann’s relations were, to put it
mildly, singular and paradoxical. For a long time both Robert and Clara
were captivated by Liszt’s phenomenal virtuosity and amazing
musicianship. Liszt preached Schumann’s greatness both in word and deed.
He played his works inimitably and with an originality that brought to
light beauties which Schumann, by his own admission, did not even
suspect in his own creations. When Clara first played Liszt the
“Carnival” he exclaimed that it was one of the greatest pieces of music
he knew, vastly to Clara’s delight. Robert impulsively dedicated to
Liszt the C major Fantasy (in later years Clara removed the dedication)
but as time went on a coolness developed between the two masters, which
led to at least one highly embarrassing scene when, on a certain
occasion, Liszt, possibly in a spirit of irony, praised the
arch-vulgarian, Meyerbeer, at the expense of the recently deceased
Mendelssohn. Schumann left the room, fiercely slamming the door behind
him. The breach was eventually healed and Liszt championed Schumann
quite as he had done earlier. But the friendship had been troubled and,
as Schumann’s mental condition worsened, the old relation was never
quite restored. Clara, who developed into a good hater in the years of
her widowhood, came to harbor an implacable enmity for Robert’s one time
friend.

Yet in the early days of their married life things were on the whole,
ideal. Robert aspired to deepen Clara’s musical understanding and the
pair undertook a systematic study of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, he
“pointing out the places where the fugue subject reappears” and giving
her an insight into technical mysteries which she had hitherto lacked.
He himself was inspired by his new found happiness to a perfect deluge
of songs—master lyrics which rank with those of Schubert as among the
greatest treasurers of song literature. The year 1840 was Schumann’s
“song year”. Even before they were married Robert delighted his
prospective bride with the information: “Since yesterday morning I have
written nearly 27 pages of music, of which I can tell you no more than
that I laughed and cried for joy of it.... All this music nearly kills
me now, it could drown me completely. Oh, Clara, what bliss to write
songs! Too long have I been a stranger to it”. And a little later: “I
have again composed so much that it sometimes seems quite uncanny. Oh, I
can’t help it, I should like to sing myself to death like a nightingale.
Twelve Eichendorff songs! But I have already forgotten them and begun
something new”! So it runs on, more extravagantly in letter after
letter, as he enriches the world quite effortlessly with the “Lieder und
Gesänge”, Op. 27, the Chamisso songs, Op. 31, the “Liederreihe”, Op. 35,
the Eichendorff “Liederkreis”, Op. 39, the wonderfully psychological
“Frauenliebe und Leben” cycle, the incomparable “Dichterliebe”, the
Eichendorff and Heine “Romanzen und Balladen”, and so on—a lyric
inundation, seemingly without end. And just because Schumann had
developed in his piano works such an individuality of style, and such
new phases of keyboard technic the accompaniments he supplied for many
of these Lieder made the songs artistic creations of an entirely
unprecedented order.

                                 * * *

Robert and Clara found out before long, no doubt, that married people
sometimes get in one another’s way. For instance, Robert needed hours
and sometimes days and weeks of quiet for his creative work. On such
occasions Clara had to put a stop to her practising. The two realized
that they were rather more hampered than was agreeable and Robert felt
keenly how needful it is for an artist appearing in public to keep up
his technical practice. Nevertheless she did manage somehow to get in
her necessary hours of practice. Her husband found that “as she lives in
nothing but good music her playing is now certainly the wholesomer and
also more delicate and intelligent than it was before. But sometimes she
has not the necessary time to bring mechanical sureness to the point of
infallibility and that is my fault and cannot be helped.... Well, that
is the way of artist marriages—one cannot have everything at once.”

The Schumanns would have been glad to see Robert occupied with some
regular work outside his compositions and his writings for the _Neue
Zeitschrift_. Clara felt that her husband ought to be occupying an
important conductor position. She would like to have seen him in such a
post at the Leipzig Gewandhaus concerts, which his friend Mendelssohn
had raised to such a level of distinction. “Don’t be too ambitious for
me”, gently chided Robert, who realized that he was not cut out for a
conductor. Yet this ambition was one of Clara’s tragic failings. We have
to thank it for Schumann’s later misfortunes when he let himself be
stampeded into accepting a batonist’s post at Düsseldorf which probably
accelerated his final breakdown. “I wish no better place for myself than
a pianoforte and you near me”, he had said not long after they were
married. But Clara was to be incorrigible. She was one of those typical
ambitious wives who drive their husbands into careers for which they
know themselves to be totally unfitted. Yet the greater the inroads made
by Robert’s deep-seated malady on his nervous system the more incapable
he seemed of resisting Clara’s urging.

What promised to be a solid and permanent position for Schumann
materialized in the spring of 1843 when Mendelssohn founded the Leipzig
Conservatory. Robert was given charge of the classes in piano playing;
and he taught private composition. His colleagues were men like the
theorist Hauptmann, the violinist, Ferdinand David, Moscheles, Plaidy,
Richter, Klengel and others of distinguished standing. But it does not
appear that Schumann’s actual teaching can have amounted to much. For he
was growing more and more uncommunicative and the fitness as a pedagogue
of such a silent teacher may be doubted. In 1844 his duties at the
Conservatory were interrupted for four months when he accompanied Clara
on a concert tour to Russia and finally ceased in the autumn when he
suffered a severe nervous breakdown which led to his removal to Dresden.
Some months earlier he had renounced the editorship of the
_Zeitschrift_. To his friend, Verhulst, he wrote in June, 1844: “I have
given up the paper for this year and hardly think I shall ever resume
it. I should like to live entirely for composition”. Shortly afterwards
the _Zeitschrift_ passed into the hands of Liszt’s friend, Franz
Brendel.

Schumann was now definitely a sick man. Clara wrote in her diary that
she feared he would not survive the journey to the Harz mountains and to
Dresden which they had planned in the hope of restoring him; “Robert did
not sleep a single night, his imagination painted the most terrible
pictures, in the early morning I generally found him bathed in tears, he
gave himself up completely”. The change of scene and society helped him,
however, and they resolved to settle permanently in Dresden, whither
they moved in the last days of 1844.

                                 * * *

A period of fertile productivity lay behind him. If 1840 was Robert’s
“song year”, 1841 was his “symphony year” and 1842 his “chamber music
year”, though this should not be taken as meaning that his creations at
this time were limited to a few works in these genres exclusively. First
of all came the B flat Symphony—the “Spring” Symphony—which Schumann
wrote down with a steel pen he had found in Vienna in the Währinger
Cemetery, on Beethoven’s grave. The “Spring Symphony”, though it had its
detractors, put Schumann on the map, so to speak, more almost than
anything else he had written heretofore. Immediately after the symphony
came two other large-scale works—the so-called “Overture, Scherzo and
Finale” (which modern conductors have singularly neglected) and a
Phantasie in A minor, for orchestra and piano, which was to become the
first movement of the glorious Piano Concerto—for not a few musicians
the greatest of its kind in existence!

On the heels of this soaring masterpiece Schumann embarked on another
symphony. “As yet I have heard nothing about it”, wrote Clara in her
diary, “but from Robert’s way of going on and the D minor sounding
wildly in the distance, I know that another work is being created in the
depth of his soul”. Less than four months later Robert handed his wife
as a birthday gift the score of the D minor Symphony. It was not to see
the light of publicity for some time, however. Before Schumann had put
the finishing touches on it his thoughts began to be occupied with the
subject of “Paradise and the Peri”, from Thomas Moore’s “Lalla Rookh”,
and he opined that “perhaps something fine can be made out of it for
music”. He was right, though the beautiful oratorio—one of the finest
yet (in America) least familiar of Schumann’s major works—was not
completed for nearly two years more. When it finally appeared the
composer described it as “an oratorio for cheerful people, not for the
place of prayer”.

In the spring of 1842 Robert and Clara had been occupied with the study
of the string quartets of Haydn and Mozart. The following October he
wrote to the publisher, Haertel: “During the summer months I worked with
great zeal at three quartets.... We played them several times at David’s
and they seemed to please players and listeners alike, in particular
Mendelssohn....” They are the Quartets in A minor, F major and A major,
Op. 41. For one thing, they contain some of the most unusual effects of
syncopated rhythm to be found in the entire range of Schumann’s
compositions. On the heels of the quartets came the most popular sample
of Schumann’s chamber music, the E flat Piano Quintet, Op. 44, the first
movement of which is perhaps as fine a thing as its creator ever
achieved. Other chamber works followed—the E flat Piano Quartet, Op. 47,
the so-called Phantasiestücke, for piano, violin and cello, Op. 88, none
of them, however, rising above the level of the Quintet.

    [Illustration: Robert and Clara Schumann a few years after their
                               marriage.]

   [Illustration: The Schumann children, Ludwig, Maria, Felix, Elsie,
         Ferdinand, Eugenie, from a photograph taken in 1854.]

The first of the Schumann children, Marie and Elise, were born in 1841
and 1843, respectively. The succeeding ones were Julie, Emil, Ludwig,
Ferdinand, Eugenie and Felix. Alone, Marie and Eugenie lived to what one
can call a ripe old age. The hereditary Schumann illness passed on to
another generation.

                                 * * *

Dresden promised to be a pleasant home for the Schumanns and their
growing family. The town was a center of art and literature. Painters,
sculptors, architects, writers, musicians assembled there, lured by an
art-loving Court. Among the prominent musical figures of the town were
Ferdinand Hiller, Karl Gottlieb Reissiger and Richard Wagner. Reissiger
was, of course, a mediocrity of the sorriest kind. Hiller, on the other
hand, was a pupil of Hummel and a friend of Berlioz, Liszt and
Mendelssohn and the Schumanns were thoroughly at home in his company.
Wagner was a horse of another color! It is everlastingly to be regretted
that temperamental differences kept him and Schumann from amalgamating,
for their liberal artistic slants and their incorruptible idealism
should have made them fellow fighters in the cause of musical progress.
Unfortunately the pair seemed almost to bristle at each other’s
approach. Had Wagner matured in his art as early as Schumann in his, or
could they have known one another in the fine frenzy of Schumann’s early
Davidsbündler days the story might have been of an inspiring artistic
relationship.

Wagner had been a contributor to Schumann’s _Zeitschrift_ and had
entertained a flattering idea of some of Robert’s earlier music. Rightly
enough, he noted in it “much ferment but also much originality”. He
continued to like “Paradise and the Peri” and the Piano Quintet and,
afterwards, during his Swiss exile, he went so far as to entreat Clara
to play at one of her Zurich concerts the “Symphonic Studies”. But
thrown frequently together in Dresden the two repelled rather than
attracted each other. Wagner, who talked incessantly, complained that
one could get nowhere with a person who refused to open his mouth;
Schumann, that one could not possibly exchange ideas with a man who
never allowed one the opportunity to say a word. Moreover, Wagner’s
far-darting and flamboyant ideas were unintelligible to poor Schumann
and even frightened him. And so the two seemed everlastingly at cross
purposes.

Wagner gave Schumann a score of his “Tannhäuser” as soon as it appeared
in a lithographed form. Writing to Mendelssohn Robert repudiated the
music as weak, forced, amateurish, deficient in melody and wanting in
form. Not long afterwards he went to hear the work and took back much of
what he had said, declaring that the impression created by a stage
performance was very different and that, though the score did not
radiate the “pure sunlight of genius” the opera, nevertheless, exercised
on the hearer “a mysterious magic which held one captive”. He had been
deeply moved by much of it; and he praised the technical effects and
above all the instrumentation (a thing for which Schumann himself had
always been reproved). Yet in another missive he declared that Wagner
could not write four consecutive bars of “correct” music, that he was,
all in all, a “bad musician”. From the viewpoint of his own art Robert
was to a certain degree logical in his claims. But his prophetic vision
and artist’s conscience refused to let him reject the work outright. Nor
should we judge him too severely for his conclusions. After “Tannhäuser”
he never heard a note of Wagner’s music. However he might have reacted
to “Tristan” it is hardly possible that Schumann could have brought
himself to dismiss Wagner as a “bad musician” if he had been spared to
hear “Die Meistersinger”!

Schumann was present when Wagner read one evening to an assemblage of
acquaintances his “Lohengrin” libretto. Like a number of other listeners
he could not grasp just what method Wagner could employ in setting such
a text to music. Furthermore he was upset that another had beat him to
the subject of the swan knight, which he had half a mind to utilize for
an opera himself.

                                 * * *

Ill health pursued Schumann more and more implacably during the six odd
years of his Dresden sojourn. He had moments when things seemed to
brighten. At other times the slightest mental effort produced sleepless
nights, auricular delusions, new and terrifying symptoms which came to
haunt him as others disappeared. He was morbid, irritable, had visions
of “dark demons” and was assailed by “melancholy bats”.

Music sometimes helped and sometimes hindered. Nevertheless the Dresden
period saw the creation of some of his greatest works—the completion in
1845, of the A minor Piano Concerto, by the addition of the Intermezzo
and the Finale to the Phantasie written in 1841; the magnificent C major
Symphony, with its melting Adagio, its breathless scherzo, its
resplendent finale; the “Scenes from Faust”, the Overture and incidental
music to Byron’s “Manfred” and the opera, “Genoveva”.

Limitations of space forbid us to consider in any detail works like the
Piano Concerto, the C major Symphony and the rugged “Manfred”
Overture—so different in its sombre, moody character from the romantic
effusions of Schumann’s earlier day. But the opera, “Genoveva” though
branded a failure contains superb music, beginning with the overture
which, in its different fashion, ranks with the one to “Manfred”. The
prayer of the fated Genoveva in the last act is a long _scena_ comparing
in its far-flung lyric line with the noblest vocal pieces Schumann ever
wrote.

                                 * * *

Clara cared tenderly for her ailing husband and left nothing undone to
comfort him. She would use all her culinary skill to make it certain
that his meals would be bright spots in his often troubled days. A
friend who met her returning from market in one instance inquired what
she was carrying in a strange-looking packing. “Something to tempt my
poor husband’s appetite—mixed pickles”, she answered. They had friends
in a certain Major Serre and his wife who had a country estate at a
place called Maxen, near Dresden, and she took Robert there from time to
time to benefit by the pleasant country surroundings. But his stay in
Maxen was spoiled by the view from one of the windows of a lunatic
asylum nearby. And as the years passed and his condition deteriorated
the sight of an asylum brought his melancholy to an almost intolerable
stage.

It was to Maxen that Clara brought him and her children when, during the
revolutionary uprising in May, 1849, they found it necessary to flee
from Dresden till order was restored. Pretending to take her husband for
a walk she picked her way at sundown through the fields and hills
surrounding the city and reached the Serre estate in the small hours of
the morning, terrified by the armed mobs they continually met and the
sounds of shooting in the distance. Then, without waiting to rest or
refresh herself, Clara had to set out for Dresden once more to bring the
children to a place of safety. Back in Maxen she restrained her feelings
with difficulty when she was met by contemptuous allusions from her
aristocratic hosts to “canaille” and “rabble”. “How men have to fight
for a little freedom!” she confided in her diary. “When will the time
come when all men will have equal justice? How is it possible that the
belief can so long have been rooted among the nobles that they are of a
different species from the bourgeois?”

In the fall of 1849 Schumann received a letter from Ferdinand Hiller, on
the point of leaving Düsseldorf, inquiring whether he would be disposed
to succeed him as Musical Director in that Rhenish town. The salary was
good, the duties heavy but stimulating. Schumann reflected that Dresden
had never shown itself in the least inclined to give the illustrious
artist couple within its gates the faintest official recognition.
Hiller’s offer seemed promising. Robert started to look up information
about Düsseldorf. In an old geography book he found that the town’s
attractions included “three convents and a lunatic asylum”.
Nevertheless, they decided in its favor.

They took a cool farewell from Dresden and arrived in Düsseldorf on
Sept. 2, 1850. They were greeted with extreme cordiality, wined and
dined, serenaded and threatened with the exhausting honors of dances,
picnics and excursions. Until they could find a suitable house and
garden they were lodged in the best (and most expensive!) hotel. The
Music Committee turned itself inside out to make life pleasant for its
new conductor and his illustrious artist-wife. Robert was forty,
seemingly in the prime of life but actually past his best creative
period, and glad that an apparently desirable opportunity was opening up
to him at last.

                                 * * *

Tragic deception! Whether or not Schumann realized it from the first,
the Düsseldorf period was the beginning of the end. It quickly became
obvious that Robert had no ability whatever as a conductor, none of the
dominating qualities to impose his wishes on orchestras or choral
masses. He could think of no better methods of correcting a defect of
execution than to ask his players or singers to repeat a passage over
and over, without ever making plain to them what he wanted. The
performers became listless, inattentive or downright rebellious. Things
grew progressively worse and the decline of musical standards in
Düsseldorf became town talk. The worry and physical strain involved told
sorely in Schumann’s afflicted nervous constitution. He developed an
embarrassing habit of dropping his baton at rehearsals, till he hit on
the scheme of fastening it to his wrist with a piece of string! “There,
now it can’t fall again!”, he sheepishly told a friend who gazed at his
arm in questioning wonder. His mental ailment bit by bit robbed him of
the alertness, concentration, presence of mind, “even the ability to
speak audibly”. Clara, unable apparently to recognize the truth,
suspected intrigues on every hand. Her blood “boiled” over the
“disrespectful behaviour of some of the choir” at a rehearsal of the
“St. Matthew Passion” and she developed a particular enmity against the
well-meaning if uninspired conductor, Julius Tausch, who gradually took
over some of Schumann’s most taxing labors.

Robert’s taciturnity had been growing on him for years but it finally
took utterly fantastic forms. We are told that in Düsseldorf he could
not say: “Ladies and gentlemen, our next rehearsal will be tomorrow at
seven”, without breaking down once or twice. In another case a certain
Carl Witting was commissioned to visit Schumann in order to settle a
debated point about the tempi in the “Manfred” Overture. After putting
his question to the composer who was smoking a cigar (Robert had been an
inveterate smoker from his youth) he received for all answer only the
query: “Do you smoke?” Witting said he did and waited respectfully.
Schumann neither offered a cigar nor gave a reply. Two more inquiries
brought only another “Do you smoke?” The persistent silence finally
impelled Witting to take his leave, thinking one knows not what. Still
another idiosyncrasy of Robert’s later days was to frequent a
restaurant, order a glass of wine or beer and leave without attempting
to pay. The proprietor was not disturbed, but simply gave Schumann what
amounted to a charge account and sent the bills to Clara.

One of the first excursions Robert and Clara took after their arrival in
Düsseldorf was to Cologne. Schumann was charmed by the surrounding
countryside and deeply impressed by an ecclesiastical ceremony he
witnessed in the Cologne Cathedral. The visit provided the inspiration
for the Symphony in E flat, the so-called “Rhenish”, published as the
third, actually the fourth in date of composition (if we except the 1851
revision of the earlier D minor). The resplendent work has a freshness
and a youthful ardor which seem to belie the composer’s encroaching
mental impairment. The climax of the symphony is its monumentally
conceived fourth movement in which Schumann strove to picture the
solemnity he had witnessed in that stately fane. The other movements
abound in those shifted accents and other rhythmic surprises which were
always a hallmark of the composer’s style.

One marvels at the quantity if not always at the quality of Schumann’s
Düsseldorf compositions. These include overtures to Shakespeare’s
“Julius Caesar”, Goethe’s “Hermann und Dorothea” and Schiller’s “Braut
von Messina”; the “Pilgrimage of the Rose”, the “Peri”; a fine Cello
Concerto in A minor, and a violin concerto in D minor, written for
Joseph Joachim, but secreted for years in the Berlin State Library and,
though once tried out by Joachim, never played or published till recent
years on the plea that it might by its weakness diminish Schumann’s
reputation. As a matter of fact the concerto, which is typical late
Schumann, seems to have been much too severely judged by Joachim and
even Clara herself.

                                 * * *

The impossible situation in Düsseldorf could not continue. At first the
Schumanns resolved to leave and settle down in Vienna. But that scheme
proved impractical. The sorry conductorship came to its inevitable end.
The Schumanns, much relieved, set out on a tour of Holland which had
triumphal results for Clara. Back in Düsseldorf, though no longer in an
official capacity, Robert on Sept. 30, 1853, was handed a card inscribed
“Herr Brahms from Hamburg”. Next day he scribbled in a diary: “Visit
from Brahms (a genius)”. And there began one of the most touching
friendships in musical history, one that long survived the mortal
Schumann and continued for the duration of Clara’s years on earth.

To Joseph Joachim, who had armed the twenty year old North German with
the introduction he presented, Robert instantly wrote “in prophetic
style” the words: “This is he who should come”. And only a few days
later, another concerning “Johannes the true Apostle—the young eagle
that has flown so suddenly and unexpectedly from the hills to
Düsseldorf....” Then snatching his long unused editorial pen he began
that famous essay, “New Paths”, published on Oct. 28, 1853, in the _Neue
Zeitschrift für Musik_, and which definitely started Brahms on the path
of glory leading to deathlessness.

Brahms, Joachim, Albert Dietrich, J. O. Grimm—these perhaps more than
any others were the men whose friendship was the chief solace of
Schumann in his now rapid decline. He still took his walks with Clara
and the children. With his lips pursed as if whistling and his hands
clasped behind him he was a familiar figure as he wandered in a kind of
abstraction through the parks of Düsseldorf. New and alarming symptoms
steadily manifested themselves. In 1854 he had “marked and painful
auditory sensations”, including a maddening affliction that took the
shape of hearing melodies in two conflicting keys at once. His speech
was heavier and his demeanor grew more and more apathetic. With
increasing hallucinations he developed a morbid enthusiasm for spiritism
and table rappings. He had dreams in which the spirits of Schubert and
Mendelssohn dictated musical themes to him; or else he heard angelic
voices which presently changed to the howling of demons threatening him
with torments. On Feb. 26, 1854, he rose in a state of terrible
melancholy, begged to be sent to an asylum and began to pack up the
things he wished to take with him. Clara, wishing to speak to their
friend and physician, Dr. Hasenclever, left the room for a moment.
Suddenly Schumann opened his bedroom door and—vanished! A few minutes
later he was brought back, dripping with water. Half clad, he had gone
out, thrown himself into the Rhine but was saved from drowning by some
fishermen who had seen the suicidal leap. On March 4 he was taken at his
own wish to the private asylum of Dr. Richarz at Endenich, near Bonn. He
left in a carriage accompanied by two doctors. Clara, from whom he took
only a perfunctory leave, stayed behind, crushed. Someone had handed
Schumann flowers as he drove away. He gave a few of them to Dr.
Hasenclever, who afterwards took them to Clara. For a while his
condition seemed to improve. He worked now and then at his music,
composed a few variations on the theme he claimed to have received from
the spirit of Schubert and wrote a piano accompaniment for some of the
Paganini Capriccios. But by 1855 all hope was abandoned and in 1856
Clara, on a concert tour in England, was informed that Robert was
“irretrievably lost”. Soon a telegram summoned her to Endenich “if she
still wanted to see her husband alive”. With Brahms, who for nearly two
years had watched over Robert and the sorely tried Clara with unexampled
devotion, she went to the sanatorium, saw Robert and believed that,
though he seemed to converse with spirits, he recognized and welcomed
her after the long separation. On July 29, 1856, he was, in Clara’s
words “to be freed from his troubles; at four in the afternoon he passed
gently away. His last hours were peaceful and so he passed in sleep,
unnoticed—nobody was with him at the moment. I saw him half an hour
later. Joachim had come from Heidelberg on receiving our telegram....”

                                 * * *

Two days afterwards Schumann was laid to rest in the lovely Old Cemetery
at Bonn. Members of the Düsseldorf “Concordia”, which had serenaded the
Schumanns on their arrival from Dresden six years earlier, were the
pallbearers. Hiller, Joachim and Brahms walked in front, Clara, alone
and unobserved, far behind—“certainly as he would have wished”. Forty
years later, on Whit-Sunday, 1896, she was reunited with him in the same
tomb, in the presence of her surviving children and a few friends, chief
of these the faithful Brahms, himself barely a year from his end.


                      COMPLETE LIST OF RECORDINGS
                                  _by_
                   THE PHILHARMONIC-SYMPHONY SOCIETY
                              OF NEW YORK


                            COLUMBIA RECORDS

                 _Under the Direction of Bruno Walter_

  Barber—Symphony No. 1
  Beethoven—Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major (“Emperor”) (with Rudolf
        Serkin, piano)
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (“Eroica”)
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 5 in C minor
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 8 in F major
  Beethoven—Violin Concerto in D major (with Joseph Szigeti)
  Brahms—Song of Destiny (with Westminster Choir)
  Dvorak—Slavonic Dance No. 1
  Mahler—Symphony No. 4 in G major (with Desi Halban, soprano)
  Mahler—Symphony No. 5 in C minor
  Mendelssohn—Concerto in E minor (with Nathan Milstein, violin)
  Mendelssohn—Midsummer Night’s Dream—Scherzo (with Nathan Milstein,
        violin)
  Mozart—Cosi fan Tutti—Overture
  Mozart—Symphony No. 41 in C major (“Jupiter”), K. 551
  Schubert—Symphony No. 9 in C major
  Schumann, R.—Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (“Rhenish”)
  Smetana—The Moldau (“Vltava”)
  Strauss, J.—Emperor Waltz

                _Under the Direction of Artur Rodzinski_

  Bizet—Carmen—Entr’acte (Prelude to Act III)
  Bizet—Symphony in C major
  Brahms—Symphony No. 1 in C minor
  Brahms—Symphony No. 2 in D major
  Copland—A Lincoln Portrait (with Kenneth Spencer, Narrator)
  Gershwin—American in Paris
  Ibert—“Escales” (Ports of Call)
  Liszt—Mephisto Waltz
  Moussorgsky—Gopak (The Fair at Sorotchinski)
  Moussorgsky-Ravel—Pictures at an Exhibition
  Prokofieff—Symphony No. 5
  Rachmaninoff—Concerto No. 2 in C minor (with Gyorgy Sandor, piano)
  Rachmaninoff—Symphony No. 2 in C minor (with Robert Casadesus, piano)
  Saint-Saens—Concerto No. 4 in C minor (Robert Casadesus, piano)
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 4 in A minor
  Tschaikowsky—Nutcracker Suite
  Tschaikowsky—Suite “Mozartiana”
  Tschaikowsky—Symphony No. 6 in B minor (“Pathetique”)
  Wagner—Lohengrin—Bridal Chamber Scene (Act III, Scene 2) (with Helen
        Traubel, soprano and Kurt Baum, tenor)
  Wagner—Lohengrin—Elsa’s Dream (Act I, Scene 2) (with Helen Traubel,
        soprano)
  Wagner—Siegfried Idyll
  Wagner—Tristan und Isolde—Excerpts (with Helen Traubel, soprano)
  Wagner—Die Walkure—Act III (Complete) (with Helen Traubel, soprano and
        Herbert Janssen, baritone)
  Wagner—Die Walkure—Duet (Act I, Scene 3) (with Helen Traubel, soprano
        and Emery Darcy, tenor)
  Wolf-Ferrari—“Secret of Suzanne”, Overture

                  _Under the Direction of Efrem Kurtz_

  Herold—Zampa—Overture
  Khatchaturian—Gayne—Ballet Suite Dances
  Khatchaturian—Ballet Suite No. 2
  Shostakovich—Symphony No. 9
  Wieniawski—Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor (with Isaac Stern, violin)

                _Under the Direction of Darius Milhaud_

  Milhaud—Suite Francaise

               _Under the Direction of Leopold Stokowski_

  Khatchaturian—“Masquerade Suite”

                _Under the Direction of Igor Stravinsky_

  Stravinsky—Firebird Suite
  Stravinsky—Fireworks (Feu d’Artifice)
  Stravinsky—Four Norwegian Moods
  Stravinsky—Le Sacre du Printemps (The Consecration of the Spring)
  Stravinsky—Scenes de Ballet
  Stravinsky—Suite from “Petrouchka”
  Stravinsky—Symphony in Three Movements

                _Under the Direction of John Barbirolli_

  Bach-Barbirolli—Sheep May Safely Graze (from the “Birthday Cantata”)
  Berlioz—Roman Carnival Overture
  Brahms—Symphony No. 2, in D major
  Brahms—Academic Festival Overture
  Bruch—Concerto No. 1, in G minor (with Nathan Milstein, violin)
  Debussy—First Rhapsody for Clarinet (with Benny Goodman, clarinet)
  Debussy—Petite Suite: Ballet
  Mozart—Concerto in B-flat major (with Robert Casadesus, piano)
  Mozart—Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183
  Ravel—La Valse
  Rimsky-Korsakov—Capriccio Espagnol
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 1, in E minor
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 2, in D major
  Smetana—The Bartered Bride—Overture
  Tschaikowsky—Theme and Variations (from Suite No. 3 in G)

              _Under the Direction of Sir Thomas Beecham_

  Mendelssohn—Symphony No. 4, in A major (“Italian”)
  Sibelius—Melisande (from “Pelleas and Melisande”)
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 7, in C major
  Tschaikowsky—Capriccio Italien

               _Under the Direction of Andre Kostelanetz_

  Gershwin—Concerto in F (with Oscar Levant, piano)


                             VICTOR RECORDS

               _Under the Direction of Arturo Toscanini_

  Beethoven—Symphony No. 7, in A major
  Brahms—Variations on a Theme by Haydn
  Dukas—The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  Gluck—Orfeo ed Euridice—Dance of the Spirits
  Haydn—Symphony No. 4, in D major (The Clock)
  Mendelssohn—Midsummer Night’s Dream—Scherzo
  Mozart—Symphony in D major (K. 385)
  Rossini—Barber of Seville—Overture
  Rossini—Italians in Algiers—Overture
  Rossini—Semiramide—Overture
  Verdi—Traviata—Preludes to Acts I and III
  Wagner—Excerpts—Lohengrin—Die Götterdämmerung—Siegfried Idyll

                _Under the Direction of John Barbirolli_

  Debussy—Iberia (Images, Set 3, No. 2)
  Purcell—Suite for Strings with four Horns, Two Flutes, English Horn
  Respighi—Fountains of Rome
  Respighi—Old Dances and Airs (Special recording for members of the
        Philharmonic-Symphony League of New York)
  Schubert—Symphony No. 4, in C minor (Tragic)
  Schumann—Concerto in D minor (with Yehudi Menuhin, violin)
  Tschaikowsky—Francesca da Rimini—Fantasia

               _Under the Direction of Willem Mengelberg_

  J. C. Bach—Arr. Stein—Sinfonia in B-flat major
  J. S. Bach—Arr. Mahler—Air for G string (from Suite for Orchestra)
  Beethoven—Egmont Overture
  Handel—Alcina Suite
  Mendelssohn—War March of the Priests (from Athalia)
  Meyerbeer—Prophete—Coronation March
  Saint-Saens—Rouet d’Omphale (Omphale’s Spinning Wheel)
  Schelling—Victory Ball
  Wagner—Flying Dutchman—Overture
  Wagner—Siegfried—Forest Murmurs (Waldweben)


                     Special Booklets published for
                             RADIO MEMBERS
                                   of
                   THE PHILHARMONIC-SYMPHONY SOCIETY
                              OF NEW YORK

  POCKET-MANUAL of Musical Terms, Edited by Dr. Th. Baker (G.
        Schirmer’s)
  BEETHOVEN and his Nine Symphonies by Pitts Sanborn
  BRAHMS and some of his Works by Pitts Sanborn
  MOZART and some Masterpieces by Herbert F. Peyser
  WAGNER and his Music-Dramas by Robert Bagar
  TSCHAIKOWSKY and his Orchestral Music by Louis Biancolli
  JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH and a few of his major works by Herbert F.
        Peyser
  SCHUBERT and his work by Herbert F. Peyser
  MENDELSSOHN and certain MASTERWORKS by Herbert F. Peyser

These booklets are available to Radio Members at 25c each while the
limited supply lasts.

                            [Illustration: ]

_During its 18th consecutive year on the_ CBS network, _the regular
Sunday afternoon broadcast series of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony
Orchestra again proved to be an “unforgettable demonstration of the
power of music in a democracy.” These broadcasts represent the oldest
continuous series of serious music in American radio._

_Much of the immortal music performed by world-famous artists on these
broadcasts may he permanently preserved in the brilliant recordings
available on_ Columbia Masterworks Records. _Among the various works of
Schumann included in the Columbia Masterworks Catalog are_:

Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 97 (“Rhenish”). Bruno Walter
conducting the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York.
                                                            _Set MM-464_

Dichterliebe. Lotte Lehmann, soprano, with Bruno Walter, piano.
                                                            _Set MM-486_

Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44. Rudolf Serkin, piano, with the Busch
Quartet.
                                                            _Set MM-533_

Scenes of Childhood, Op. 15. Maryla Jonas, piano.
                                                            _Set MX-290_

Kreisleriana, Op. 16 (Eight Fantasies). Arabesque in C Major, Op. 18,
Claudio Arrau, piano.
                                                            _Set MM-716_

[Illustration: Radio Certificate Membership card, Philharmonic-Symphony
                          Society of New York]



                          Transcriber’s Notes


--A few palpable typos were silently corrected.

--Illustrations were shifted to the nearest paragraph break.

--Copyright notice is from the printed exemplar. (U.S. copyright was not
  renewed: this ebook is in the public domain.)





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