Robert Schumann quotes

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Robert Schumann

Birthdate: 8. June 1810
Date of death: 29. July 1856
Other names: 舒曼, Robert Alexander Schumann

Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.

Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder ; four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Carnaval, Symphonic Studies, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and the Fantasie in C are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik , a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.

In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, against the wishes of her father, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which, before her marriage, formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.

Schumann suffered from a mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of 'exaltation' and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted to a mental asylum, at his own request, in Endenich near Bonn. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.

Quotes Robert Schumann

„Perhaps genius alone understands genius fully.“

—  Robert Schumann

Sometimes translated as: Perhaps only genius fully understands genius

Original: Vielleicht versteht nur der Genius den Genius ganz, Robert Schumann, Advice to Young Musicians, translation of Musikalische Haus- und Lebens-Regeln, translated by Henry Hugo Pierson, Leipsic & New York: J. Schuberth & Co., 1860.

„To send light into the depths of the human heart -- this is the artist's calling!“

—  Robert Schumann

Quotes in: John Sullivan Dwight (1856) Dwight's Journal of Music, Vol. 7-8, p. 12
Original: Licht senden in die Tiefen des menschlichen Herzens -- des Künstlers Beruf!; Quoted in E.W. Fritzsch (1884) Musikalisches Wochenblatt, Volume 15

„The talent works, the genius creates.“

—  Robert Schumann

Attributed to Schumann in: The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 112, 1913, p. 811

„In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of.“

—  Robert Schumann

Quoted in: Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, Evan Esar (ed.), 1949, p. 156.

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