The union of Robert and Clara Schumann was long awaited, hotly opposed, and celebrated by generations since. The two kept a joint diary for the first four years of their marriage, a weekly exchanged collection of their thoughts, business of the past week, and beyond. On the first day of their marriage, September 13, 1840, they signed a statute to keep this co-journal:
If you agree with all this, wife of my heart, then sign your name underneath mine….
I am truly your sincerely loving husband Robert, and you?
I too, your wife, Clara, who is devoted to you with her entire soul.
This program presents songs from Robert Schumann’s Myrthen, Op. 25, as well as their one cooperative compositional effort – Robert’s Op. 37 and Clara’s Op. 12. In Myrthen we find inside jokes and gems, some composed while his future with Clara was yet uncertain. Robert had this “bouquet of songs” beautifully bound and gave it to Clara as a wedding present. The act of gifting one another music became a tradition in the Schumann household, and prompted Robert’s desire that they should do something together. The result is the intertwining Op. 37/Op. 12, all which use the poems of Friedrich Rückert.
The diary provides an intimate portrait into the lives of these artists: “our wishes, our hopes shall be recorded therein…it should also be a little book of requests that we direct toward one another whenever words are insufficient”. These songs reach this same mark, where words are insufficient. Happy 175th Anniversary, dear Schumanns.
Mon, June 1st @ 7:30 p.m.
The Concert Space at Beethoven Pianos
211 W 58th Street (betw Broadway and 7th Ave)
Tickets @ door: $20 regular admission/$10 students (cash only)
Jazimina MacNeil, mezzo-soprano; Magnus Billström, baritone; and Suna Chung, piano