June 18, 2013
Written by Victoria Baker
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 13:26
The renowned Jasper String Quartet will be performing at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts on Saturday March 19th at 8pm. Tickets are $25 and the program is comprised of works by Beethoven, Conrad Tao and Brahms. For more information about tickets please log onto www.caramoor.org. And for those of you with an interest in the work of Brahms, it should be noted that Clara Schumann was, some believe, the great love of his life.
Clara’s father was a piano store owner and a highly esteemed piano teacher. Her mother, a daughter and granddaughter of a musical family, was a talented pianist and soprano. She ran a household, maintained a concert career and bore her husband five children in seven years.
When Clara’s father began teaching his five-year-old daughter piano pieces by ear he was delighted with her progress. By the age of 9 she played public concerts, and by the age of 11 she earned a reputation as a musical child genius and a pianist of unbelievable virtuosity hailed throughout Europe.
As a teenager, Clara fell in love with Robert Schumann, one of her father’s piano students, who became one of the most beloved composers of the 19th century. Schumann, who was nine years older than Clara, had been living in the Wieck household as a piano student and boarder since Clara was 11.
When Wieck learned that Clara and Robert were in love, he was furious and threatened to shoot Robert if Clara ever saw him again. But after many obstacles the couple married and though theirs was a great love match, the trials of daily life ate away at their great romance...until Brahms entered their lives.
Brahms visited Robert and Clara every day and his relationship with Clara set tongues wagging. When Schumann suffered bouts of severe depression Clara was left to fend for herself and her family, in Brahms she found a trusted friend and some believe a lover.
In March 1896, Clara Schumann died. Brahms attended the funeral. He died only a few months later...it’s impossible to extricate the memory of Clara from much of Brahms music. One hopes the Jasper String Quartet performing at Caramoor this March will have the emotional attachment to their history and thus recreate this beautiful but tormented story within the music...
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