Schumann in the Lovely Month of May

May is a wonderful month, with its mild temperatures and the promise of summer on the horizon. It is also a month that marks the anniversary of legendary German composer Robert Schumann, who was born on 8th May 1810 in Zwickau, Saxony. Schumann was a hugely influential figure in 19th century music and a major figure in the Romantic era of classical music, his works often being described as poignant and deeply emotional.

Schumann’s career as a composer began when he was just a child, learning to play the piano by the age of 7. He was taught by his father, who was a bookseller, and it was his father who first encouraged him to pursue a career in music. After a brief stint at the University of Leipzig, Schumann moved to Vienna where he studied under some of the most renowned composers of the time, including Felix Mendelssohn.

Schumann’s career was marked by numerous successes, such as the well-received Piano Concerto (1839), the Piano Quintet (1842) and the Fantasie in C Major (1839). His most famous work, however, remains his symphonic poem Manfred, which he wrote in 1848. This work is often regarded as Schumann’s best and is one of his most performed works.

The month of May is a fitting time to recall Schumann’s legacy, as it was in this month that he composed some of his most beautiful works. This includes the Piano Trio in F Major (1847), the Cello Concerto in A Minor (1850) and the Liederkreis (1840), a collection of twelve songs he wrote for his wife, the famous pianist Clara Schumann. Schumann’s music is renowned for its complexity yet its beauty, and it is a fitting tribute to his talent that the month of May is so often associated with his works.

Robert Schumann was a hugely influential figure in 19th century music and his works continue to be performed and appreciated to this day. As we approach the month of May, it is a perfect time to remember Schumann and his legacy, and to appreciate the beauty and complexity of his works.