You are hereClara Josephine Wieck - Marriage to Schumann
Clara Josephine Wieck - Marriage to Schumann
Marriage to Robert
Robert was a little more than 9 years older than Clara and moved into the Wieck household as a piano student of Friedrich's by the end of 1830 when she was only 11 and he was 20. In 1837 when she was 18, he proposed to her and she accepted. Then Robert asked Friedrich for Clara's hand in marriage.[ Wieck was strongly opposed to the marriage, as he did not much approve of Robert, and did not give permission. Robert and Clara had to go to court and sue Friedrich. The judge's decision was to allow the marriage. In 1840, despite Friedrich's objections, Clara and Robert were married. They maintained a joint musical diary.
She and Robert first met violinist Joseph Joachim in November 1844, when he was just of age 14. A year later she wrote in her diary that in a concert on Nov. 11, 1845. "little Joachim was very much liked. He played a new violin concerto of Mendelssohn's, which is said to be wonderful".In May 1853 they heard Joachim play the solo part in Beethoven's violin concerto. Clara wrote in the diary that he played "with a finish, a depth of poetic feeling, his whole soul in every note, so ideally, that I have never heard violin-playing like it, and I can truly say that I have never received so indelible an impression from any virtuoso."
From that time there was a friendship between Clara and Joachim, which "for more than forty years never failed Clara in things great or small, never wavered in its loyalty."
Brahms coming on the scene
Also in the spring of 1853, the then unknown 20-year-old Brahms met Joachim (only a few years older, but by then an acknowledged virtuoso) in Hanover, made a very favorable impression on him, and got from him a letter of introduction to Robert Schumann. Brahms went and presented himself at the Schumanns' home in Düsseldorf. He played some of his own piano solo compositions. Both Schumanns were deeply impressed. Robert published an article highly lauding Brahms. Clara wrote in the diary that Brahms "seemed as if sent straight from God.
Robert's confinement and death
Robert attempted suicide in February 1854 and then was committed to an asylum for the last two years of his life. In March 1854, Brahms, Joachim, Albert Dietrich, and Julius Otto Grimm spent time with Clara, playing music for or with her to divert her mind from the tragedy Robert passed away 29 July 1856.
Tours, often to England, often with Joachim
Clara first went to England in April 1856, while Robert was still living (but unable to travel). She was invited to play in a London Philharmonic Society concert by conductor William Sterndale Bennett, a good friend of Robert's Clara was displeased with the little time spent on rehearsals: "They call it a rehearsal here, if a piece is played through once." She wrote that musical "artists" in England "allow themselves to be treated as inferiors.”She was happy, though, to hear the cellist Alfredo Piattiplay with "a tone, a bravura, a certainty, such as I never heard before." In May 1856 she played Robert's Piano Concerto in A minor with the New Philharmonic Society conducted by a "Dr. Wylde", who Clara said had led a "dreadful rehearsal" and "could not grasp the rhythm of the last movement.She returned to London the following year and many more times in the rest of her career.
In October–November 1857 Clara and Joachim took a recital tour together to Dresden, Leipzig, and Munich.St. James's Hall, London, which opened in 1858, hosted a series of "Popular Concerts" of chamber music, of which programmes from 1867 through 1904 are preserved. Joachim appears a great many times, as if he made a second home in London. Clara also spent a few months of many years in England and participated in Popular Concerts with Joachim and Piatti. Most often on the same concert programmes would be second violinist Joseph Ries and violist J. B. Zerbini. Playing chamber music bypassed the issues Clara had with English orchestra conductors.
In January 1867 Clara and Joachim took a tour to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, along with Piatti, Ries, and Zerbini, two English sisters "Miss Pynes," one a singer, and a Mr. Saunders who managed all the arrangements. Clara was accompanied by her oldest daughter Marie, who wrote from Manchester to her friend Rosalie Leser that in Edinburgh Clara "was received with tempestuous applause and had to give an encore, so had Joachim. Piatti, too, is always tremendously liked." Marie also wrote that "For the longer journeys we had a saloon [car], comfortably furnished with arm-chairs and sofas... the journey ... was very comfortable." On this occasion, the musicians were not "treated as inferiors"!