by Daniel Hathaway
On this date in 1896, Clara Wieck Schumann died in Frankfurt am Main. The pianist, teacher, and wife of Robert Schumann was known principally as a concert pianist, a career she pursued for more than six decades — four of them after Robert’s death in 1856.
She also composed sporadically through most of her life, including two piano concertos (the second unfinished), choral and vocal pieces, and other occasional works. Two chamber works stand out: her Three Romances, op. 22 and the Piano Trio in g, written in 1846 just before she turned 27.
Click here to watch a performance of the Romances by Rebecca Benjamin and Christine Hill in Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and here for a performance of the g-minor work by the Atos Trio (Annette von Hehn, violin, Thomas Hoppe, piano, and Stefan Heinemeyer, cello) in a live concert at the Konzerthaus in Berlin.
Being good Romantic-era icons, the lives of Clara and Robert Schumann have proven film-worthy. The oldest movie, Träumerei, dates from 1944, followed by The Song of Love in 1947 (with Katharine Hepburn playing Clara), Frühlingssinfonie in 1983, and Geliebte Clara in 2008.
If you have an hour and three-quarters to spare and want to brush up on your German, Geliebte Clara is available here (no subtitles!)
Today’s lineup includes Bach’s B-minor Mass led by Philippe Herreweghe from Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Lunchtime with The Cleveland Orchestra featuring Sibelius, Mozart, and Ibert on WCLV 104.9 Ideastream, the CIM Orchestra’s archived performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, an Artist Relief Tree Benefit Concert with pianist Jonathan Biss, the MET Opera’s archive production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera (appropriate!), and a Cliburn Competition retrospective featuring its 2013 finalist Nikita Mndoyants, who went on to win gold in the 2016 Cleveland Competition. Details here.
TODAY’S FEATURED VIDEO:
The Cleveland-based ensemble Trobár Medieval was scheduled to perform on New York’s Gotham Early Music Scene series this spring. Instead, they offer a condensed version of their Godi, Firençe! program from the same festival on May 9, 2019. Watch the video by Oliver Weston and Elena Mullins here.