Day 271 - 1840 - Schumann's Amazing Year of Song

In 1840 Robert Schumann wrote 138 songs. That is an extraordinary sentence to write. Not quite as striking as Mozart writing the overture to Don Giovanni the night before the premiere, but still pretty amazing. The other remarkable thing about this output is that is almost universally of the highest standard and includes all of his great song cycles. Why all this outpouring. It does seem to have been driven by the fact that Schumann finally managed to marry the brilliant pianist Clara Wieck. her father decided that Robert Schumann was in no way the right suitor for his daughter and only have permission for the match after two years and on the day before Clara would have achieved majority and been able to marry without his permission. Schumann had a wonderful feel for great poetry. Perhaps the greatest song cycle of all (sorry Schubert) is 'Dichterliebe' to set of bittersweet poems by Heinrich Heine. Have a listen to Fritz Wunderlich singing the cycle on the spotify link below. If you don't think this is a greatest lieder recording of all time I may sulk.!

All of Schumann's Song Cycles listen here

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