Robert Schumann

1845 Words 8 Pages
Robert Schumann is known as one of the greatest German composers of the Romantic era. His contributions to the world of music are not only vast in numbers, but they span a very broad range of composition including his piano sonatas and lied. Although this output is grand and very influential, it is important to keep in mind that Robert Schumann was fighting with mental illnesses throughout his life. With the knowledge of his struggles with depression and other illnesses, one must look deeper and ask if his mental illness affected his music, and if it did, to what extent does it reveal itself in the music?
Born the fifth and last child of Johanna Christiana and Augustus Schumann, Robert Schumann was born into a house of intense literary focus.
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This depth also helped Schumann to infuse distinction and personality into everything he wrote. This can be seen in many of his piano works. A vast majority of them are referential and Schumann attempts to use them to describe or convey emotions that are provoked by literature or to portray characters from a novel or lyrical poem he had created within his mind. This display of infused character or multiple personalities within the music is amplified by one of Schumann’s favorite compositions, Davidsbund. In this work, Schumann populates the story with imaginary characters, such as Meister Raro (who could fill a potential role of Schumann’s father-in-law) and two of Schumann’s most important characters, Florestan and Eusebius. Florestan would represent a careless extrovert, while Eusebius is a more quiet, dreamy, and introverted. Davidsbündler Tänze (Dances of the Tribe of David) is a very direct work that gives control over to these two characters. This dramatic shift in character is not limited to just this work, but can be seen throughout most of Schumann’s works, including his piano compositions and

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