Robert Schumann quotes
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
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.
„If, while at the piano, you attempt to form little melodies, that is very well; but if they come into your mind of themselves, when you are not practising, you may be still more pleased; for the internal organ of music is then roused in you. The fingers must do what the head desires; not the contrary.“
„Endeavour to play easy pieces well and with elegance; that is better than to play difficult pieces badly.“
Source: Advice to Young Musicians
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
„Sometimes I am so full of music, and so overflowing with melody, that I find it simply impossible to write down anything.“
Early Letters of Robert Schumann (1888), p. 82
Quoted in: Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, Evan Esar (ed.), 1949, p. 156.