Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Clara Schumann



"Composing gives me great pleasure... there is nothing that surpasses the joy of creation, if only because through it one wins hours of self-forgetfulness, when one lives in a world of sound."





"Clara has composed a series of small pieces, which show a musical and tender ingenuity such as she has never attained before. But to have children, and a husband who is always living in the realm of imagination, does not go together with composing. She cannot work at it regularly, and I am often disturbed to think how many profound ideas are lost because she cannot work them out."
—Robert Schumann in the joint diary of Robert and Clara Schumann.






Thank you, Google, for always reminding me whose birthday it is... September 13th, 1819, Clara Josephine Wieck, a German musician and composer, was born. Considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era, her career lasted some 61-years. She was married to the composer, Robert Schumann. 


The intensity in her eyes that tell us that this woman was an individual of immense character. Sadly, four of her eight children and her husband died before she did, with her husband and son, Ludwig, dying in insane asylums due to mental illness. Her first male son, Emil, died at 1-year old, her daughter, Julie, and son, Ferdinand, both died young leaving behind young children, which she raised. 



Despite the tragedies that befell her family and the eventual loss of confidence from which she suffered after not having time to compose, she continued to perform most her entire life. She was the first to perform her pieces purely from memory, a skill learned at a young age. She had been taught to play by ear and perform from memory, which she began doing publicly from the age of 13 forward.


The bravery and steadfastness of her expression harmoniously agrees with her actions, from which we may know of her character. During the May Uprising in Dresden in 1849, she famously walked into the city across front lines, defied a group of armed men who confronted her, went in and rescued her children, then walked them out of the city, right back through the danger zone. 


Despite my familiarity with her work, I would not have thought of her were it not for the generous reminders presented by Google...supported, in part, by Wikipedia (the site people claim to dislike but visit almost daily for information). 

So, not a funny ha-ha post this morning, but a soft chuckle in knowing that I received this information from a Search Engine... we speak of robustness and global control with respect to search engines, but rarely do we speak of personal growth in the same context. 

Just like I receive notifications on Facebook about my friends' birthdays...



So, Clara, on behalf of myself and an entire world that uses Google, we wish you a very happy birthday (Alles Gute zum Geburtstag) ... 


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