Schumann, Robert (18101856)

Schumann, Robert, an eminent German composer and musical critic, born at Zwickau, in Saxony; law, philosophy, and travel occupied his early youth, but in 1831 he was allowed to follow his bent for music, and settled to study it at Leipzig; two years later started a musical paper, which for more than 10 years was the vehicle of essays in musical criticism; during these years appeared also his greatest pianoforte works, songs, symphonies, and varied chamber music; “Paradise and the Part” and scenes from “Faust” appeared in 1843; symptoms of cerebral disease which in the end proved fatal, began to manifest themselves, and he withdrew to a quieter life at Dresden, where much of his operatic and other music was written; during 1850-54 he acted as musical director at Düsseldorf, but insanity at length supervened, and after attempting suicide in the Rhine he was placed in an asylum, where he died two years later; his work is full of the fresh colour and variety of Romanticism, his songs being especially beautiful (18101856).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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