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Born: 1810, Zwickau, Germany
Died: 1856, Endenich, Germany
“It is the artist’s lofty mission to shed light into the very depths of the human heart.”
Robert Schumann was the youngest son of a successful writer and bookseller and a somewhat unstable mother. During Schumann’s teenage years, his father died and his sister committed suicide. Prone himself to unpredictable mood swings, Schumann worried constantly about madness and death. He pursued a career as a concert pianist after leaving law school, but, when his career failed to take wing, he focused on composing. Largely self-taught, Schumann was a formal innovator, imbuing his greatest works with tremendous imagination and atmosphere. He eventually succumbed to the madness he feared so much, dying in an asylum at the age of 46.
Piano Quintet, Op. 44 (1842)
Martha Argerich et al. (EMI)
Nelson Freire, piano (Decca)
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