Many recognize the German pianist, composer and music critic Robert Schumann (1810-1856) as one of the greatest composers of the classical romantic era.
However, Schumann’s short life was one of considerable difficulty. He suffered from mental health issues that plagued him at times, as early as 1833. His love for pianist, composer and teacher Clara Wieck (1819-1896) was complicated by a lengthy legal battle with her father, who disapproved of the union. Finally, in 1840, three years after Schumann’s proposal, the two were finally married once she reached age 21, then the age of majority.
In 1854, Schumann admitted himself to a sanatorium near Bonn, Germany and was diagnosed with psychotic melancholia. He died in the institution from pneumonia two years later. While Schumann’s friend Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was allowed to visit him regularly, Clara was not allowed until Robert was near death.
Schumann composed Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood), 13 pieces of piano music, in 1838. Seventeen other movements written at the same time were published later, some of them after his death.
Today’s selection, the seventh movement of Kinderszenen, “Träumerei” (Daydreaming), is a well-known piece, one that most people will recognize from popular classical music. It appears on a 2004 album featuring live recordings of French-Cypriot pianist, teacher and composer Cyprien Katsaris.
It’s a calming and beautiful piece of music created by an often-tortured soul.
Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the video for the song from the Cyprien Katsaris YouTube topic channel: