ROMANCE: SELECTED PIANO MUSIC OF ROBERT AND CLARA SCHUMANN
Juang, Jyh-Hueih Grace
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The love story of Robert and Clara Schumann is beautifully reflected in their piano music. Each of them served as important inspiration and supported the other's compositions. Robert would not have written much of his great piano music without Clara. On the other hand, Clara would not have composed more than twenty opuses without Robert's encouragement. The image of Clara permeated the content ofRobert's music. Robert credited Clara for providing the inspiration for several of his piano works. It is noteworthy that some material from Clara's earlier music can be found in later compositions of Robert, and vice versa. Because their lives and music were intertwined, their creative work exists in a constant relationship to each other. Most importantly, we will discover Clara Wieck Schumann's piano music, which has received little attention until recently. We must understand that Clara Schumann played many important roles simultaneously in her life: a renowned concert pianist, the wife of a great composer, a mother of eight children, a teacher, and an editor of Robert Schumann's work. Clara still managed to continue concertizing and composing. Most of Clara's piano works are character pieces. Among her solo works, the Variations on a theme by Robert Schumann Op.20 is the most important and mature work. Based on a theme from the first Albumblatter of Robert's Bunte Blatter Op.99, she also wove her own childhood Romance Op.3 theme into the last variation. As a performer, this project has encouraged me to investigate Clara Schumann's music in depth. I have been making efforts to introduce her music to a greater public audience and to increase interest in her works. I hope that Clara's music will be performed and studied more frequently with the respect it deserves. This Dissertation comprises three piano recitals that showcase my selection of piano works by the Schumanns. They were performed in 2011 and 2012 in Gildenhorn Recital Hall of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. The recordings are documented on compact discs that are housed within the University of Maryland Library System.