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How Clara Schumann Changed History

Clara Schumann defined classical music as we know it. For those who squirm – how could that possibly be true? A woman with power? In the 19th century? It’s true. Clara Schumann curated an era. She shaped the tastes of the public that live on today. The traditions which have been in place for hundreds…More

Clara Schumann: Brahms’s Mentor Not His Muse

To call Clara Schumann “the muse of Brahms” is a lazy, reductive stereotype. It’s like saying Wolfgang played piano, or Johannes wrote nice tunes, or Pauline Viardot sang pretty. Those things are technically true, but as descriptors, they laughably miss the point. They are limiting and dismissive of the truth. If you’ve read Clara and…More

Clara Schumann’s Admiration for Franz Liszt

Clara Schumann is very famous for “hating Liszt,” but that’s only part of their story. She also admired him, performed and studied his compositions, and looked up to him with awe. Their relationship was long and varied. It won’t fit into one post. But let’s start in Vienna, in 1838, when Clara Wieck was 18…More

Clara Schumann & Chopin

Clara Schumann did everything in her power to place Chopin permanently in the piano repertoire. The extent of her influence on his legacy is difficult to calculate. She included his music on most of her thousands of concerts for 55 years. She played his waltzes, nocturnes, etudes, mazurkas, and more from Vienna to London, from…More

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