The son of a bookseller and publisher, Robert Schumann was inspired as much by literature as by music. Of all the authors he esteemed, his favourite was Jean Paul (Johann Paul Friedrich Richter). He once wrote to a friend that, from Jean Paul ‘I learned more about counterpoint than from my music teacher’. What was it about this (now unfashionable) writer that so appealed to the young Schumann? And what was the nature of this ‘counterpoint’ that he learned from him? The music presented in this programme is intimately connected with Jean Paul, and in particular with his novel Flegeljahre (The Awkward Age). Between the two Schumann works, we will explore how the composer brought the fantasy of Jean Paul together with his own emotional experience (particularly his forbidden relationship with Clara Wieck) to develop a unique character as musician and writer.
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‘The whole new way of experiencing music ... perfectly created atmosphere.’
‘It was an utterly amazing experience! I enjoyed every moment of the concert.’
‘We enjoyed the concert enormously, both the performances and the very informative talks.
It was a most stimulating evening.’
‘I listened to beautiful music and I learned - what more could you ask from an evening?
Really, it was very special.’
‘Congratulations on the great success of last night’s debut of the Aspect Foundation in NY. Lovely venue, terrific crowd, and lots of wonderful energy.’
‘What a beautiful evening it was! Thank you very much! I don’t think I’ve ever been to an event like this.’