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Saturday, October 19, 2013 Permalink

The Clara Connection

Portrait of Clara Schumann by Jean Joseph Bonaventure


Clara Wieck was admired as a piano virtuoso in her youth not only by her future husband, Robert Schumann, but also by Goethe, Mendelssohn, and Paganini. No less an expert than Franz Liszt praised her “complete technical mastery, depth and sincerity of feeling.”

She was arguably the greatest pianist of her time, and thanks to her influence — direct and indirect--were written three of the great piano-and-orchestra works of the 19th century — Johannes Brahms' first Concerto, and the A-minor Concertos of Robert Schumann and Edvard Grieg.

In this hour, her story and the music she inspired.


Recordings Used

Grieg:  Piano Concerto in A minor [BIS CD-619]

Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor [BBC Music MM278]

Brahms: Piano Concertos [DGG 453 067-2]

Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto in F minor [BBC Music MM45]