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Robert Schumann


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Can anyone recommend a good book about him? I want something that covers his music as well as his courtship and marriage to Clara Wieck and his eventual mental illness. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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I've never read a biography of Schumann, but I recently read a novel about his marriage to Clara Wieck- "Clara" by Janice Galloway. It's beautifully written, and captured the spirit of their romance and music. It's even structured in the sections of Frauenliebe und leben!

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perky, better late than never, I suppose. :) I found a collection of essays edited by Alan Walter called “Robert Schumann: the Man and his Music,” to be very useful. It contains a biographical essay as well as musical commentaries. Charles Rosen has an interesting discussion of Schumann in his book, “The Romantic Generation.”

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J.D. Landis' "Longing" is another novel based on Schumann, his relationship with Clara (since their first encounter, when she was a child), their marriage, and the whole cast of musical characters in and around Germany at that time. Landis does not delve very deeply into Schumann's troubled mind. He gives Brahms short shrift. On the other hand, he depicts the zeitgeist with almost tangible vividness, which compensates.

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