CLARA SCHUMANN ( ARR . HERSH ) Caprices en forme de Valse , Mvts . II , III , and VI
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Born 1819 in Leipzig , Germany ; died 1896 in Frankfurt , Germany
• Clara Schumann , née Wieck , was born in Leipzig into a musical family . Her mother was a famous singer and was Clara ’ s first piano teacher . After having an affair with her father ’ s friend , Clara ’ s mother moved away and her father took over her musical education .
• Clara performed her piano debut at age 9 . Robert Schumann , a musician several years her senior , was in attendance and was so impressed by Clara ’ s playing that he too began studying with Clara ’ s father and even moved in with them for a time .
• Clara toured Europe as a pianist , attracting attention from Paganini , Chopin , and Liszt , all of whom praised her talents .
• When Clara turned 18 , Robert proposed . Clara ’ s father was against the union , and Clara and Robert had to petition a local judge to allow the marriage . Clara and Robert maintained an intertwined musical life together . The two even kept a daily musical journal together . Later in life , Robert struggled with his mental health and was admitted to a sanitorium where he spent the remainder of his years . During this time Brahms , who was a close friend of the couple , spent a great deal of time with Clara . There has been much speculation as to the nature of Clara and Brahms ’ relationship , but it is at least known that they were very close friends who greatly admired and supported each other ’ s work .
• In addition to Clara ’ s acclaimed career as a pianist , she wrote over 200 compositions and was the breadwinner for the family , which included eight children .
ABOUT THE PIECE
THE WORLD AT A GLANCE
MUSIC Gaetano Donizetti ’ s L ’ elisir d ’ amore
LITERATURE George Sand ’ s Indiana
ART Katsushika Hokusai ’ s The Great Wave off Kanagawa
• Clara wrote her Caprices en forme de Valse in 1832 when she was just 13 years old .
• The piece contains a set of nine short whimsical and humorous waltzes .
HISTORY The Baptist War
6 BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA