Schumann: Mr. & Mrs. Romanticism
HUM 2510 Music Appreciation
September 11, 2013
Professor Wendy Gillette
As philosophers of the Romantic Movement searched for a new understanding, they turned from the analytical, attempted more subjectivity than objectivity, and began to embrace rather than to examine. The Romantic’s began to value man based on their passion and emotions, to strive for creativity and expression, and to cultivate intuition and imagination. Consequently, this caused a shift away from order to chaos, from answers to questions, from predictability and reasons to uncertainty. Accordingly, uncertainty became the only assurance, the convention of Romanticism, and the very essence of the Romantic Era. The resulting philosophy eventually led to an artistic resurgence through which music gained importance as a powerful means of expression, and a significant standing within the culture. .
More than one esteemed musical mind has called Robert Schumann the spirit of the romantic age — an age that was nothing if not spirited. Editor-critic and composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856), personifies views of Romanticism in theory and practice: his life speaks of great imagination and pain, his compositional style of invention and ambiguity. A composer throughout the early- to mid-nineteenth century, he is probably best known for his songs and piano works. Before injuring his finger most likely with a chiroplast (an instrument that guides the hands while playing; highly controversial), Schumann was an avid piano player, if not a proper concert pianist and virtuoso (Kamien). Nevertheless, due to this ailing finger, Schumann had to eventually find other means to support his life. Thankfully for us, he eventually turned to composition, and furthermore, to piano composition.
During his lifetime, he composed four symphonies and numerous piano works all of which were not always well received immediately, because...