Great Violinists And Pianists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 224 pages of information about Great Violinists And Pianists.
the pseudonyms Florestan and Eusebius.  Between his new journal and composing, Schumann was kept busy, but he found time to persuade himself that he was in love with Fraulein Ernestine von Fricken, a beautiful but somewhat frivolous damsel, who became engaged to the young composer and editor.  Two years cooled off this passion, and a separation was mutually agreed on.  Perhaps Schumann recognized something, in the lovely child who was swiftly blooming into maidenhood, which made his own inner soul protest against any other attachment.

II.

It would have been very strange indeed if two such natures as Clara Wieck and Robert Schumann had not gravitated toward each other during the almost constant intercourse between them which took place between 1835 and 1838.  Clara, born in 1820, had been her father’s pupil from her tenderest childhood, but the development of her musical gifts was not forced in such a way as to interfere with her health and the exuberance of her spirits.  The exacting teacher was also a tender father and a man of ripe judgment, and he knew the bitter price which mere mental precocity so frequently has to pay for its existence.

But the young girl’s gifts were so extraordinary, and withal her character so full of childish simplicity and gayety, that it was difficult to think of her as of the average child phenomenon.  At the age of nine she could play Mozart’s concertos, and Hummel’s A minor Concerto for the orchestra, one of the most difficult of compositions.  A year later she began to compose, and improvised without difficulty, for her lessons in counterpoint and harmony had kept pace with her studies of pianoforte technique.  Paganini visited Leipzig at this period, and was so astonished at the little Clara’s precocious genius that he insisted on her presence at all his concerts, and addressed her with the deepest respect as a fellow-artist.  She first appeared in public concert at the age of eleven, in Leipzig, Weimar, and other places, playing Pixis, Moscheles, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Chopin.  The latter of these composers was then almost unknown in Germany, and Clara Wieck, young as she was, contributed largely to making him popular.  A year later she visited Paris in company with her father, and heard Chopin, Liszt, and Kalkbrenner, who on their part were delighted with the little artist, who, beneath the delicacy and timidity of the child, indicated extraordinary powers.  Society received her with the most flattering approbation, and when her father allowed her to appear in concert her playing excited the greatest delight and surprise.  Her improvisation specially displayed a vigor of imagination, a fine artistic taste, and a well-defined knowledge which justly called out the most enthusiastic recognition.

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Great Violinists And Pianists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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