"This is a Borzoi Book published by Alfred A. Knopf."
LCCN in CIP is 2017061535.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 311-327) and indexes.
Traces the life and music of the major composer and key figure of Romanticism, who has been the subject of major controversy since his early death in a mental asylum.
"Drawing on hitherto unpublished archive material, as well more established sources of journals, letters, and publications, Judith Chernaik provides enthralling new insight into Schumann's life and his music: his sexual escapades, his fathering of an illegitimate child, the facts behind his courtship of Clara Wieck--already a noted young concert pianist--his passionate marriage to her despite the opposition of her manipulative father, his passionate marriage, and the ways his many crises fed into the dreams and fantasies of his greatest works, turning his tumultuous life into music that speaks directly to the heart." -- Publisher's description
"[This book] is a groundbreaking account of a major composer whose life and works have been the subject of intense controversy ever since his early death in a mental asylum. Schumann was a key figure in the Romantic movement that swept through Europe and America in the nineteenth century, reaching even to the farthest comers of the world, enrapturing poets, musicians, painters, and their audiences. All the contradictions of his age enter Schumann's works. He was original but worshipped the past: Bach, Beethoven, and Schubert, Shakespeare and Byron, Raphael and Michelangelo. He believed in political, personal, and artistic freedom but struggled with constraints of form. He turned his tumultuous life into music that speaks directly to the heart. Drawing on hitherto unpublished archival material, Judith Chernaik sheds new light on Schumann's life, his sexual escapades, his fathering of an illegitimate child, the truth behind the courtship of his wife, Clara, and her father's monstrous opposition, and the ways in which the crises of Schumann's life entered his music. His troubled relations with his fellow Romantic composers Mendelssohn and Chopin are freshly explored, and the full medical diary kept at Endenich asylum, long withheld, enables Chernaik to look again at the mystery of Schumann's final illness. Using her wide experience as a scholar of Romanticism and as a novelist, Chernaik vividly brings Schumann's world and his extraordinary musical achievement to life in all their rich complexity."--Dust jacket.