Music of the Romantic Era

Answer the essay below in complete sentences, using musical examples from works studied in class to illustrate your main points. Please write your essay in an organized manner, and address the questions in the order in which they appear below, in order to ensure full credit for your essay.

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No. 31. Marcia Citron, in her article, “Women and the Lied, 1775-1850,” writes that “the advent of the nineteenth century witnessed a marked increase in the number of female musicians who utilized their creative talents, with a parallel rise in recognition from contemporary musicians, journalists, and audiences.” In class we have examined the life and music of one of the leading virtuosos of the Romantic era, Clara Wieck Schumann. Although for many years she remained in the shadow of her husband, the recognized composer Robert Schumann, it is indeed encouraging to see that Wieck Schumann finally received the attention she so richly deserves. Let’s focus on Clara Wieck Schumann’s musical and cultural significance as one of the few female virtuoso/composers in the early part of the nineteenth century. Be sure to address the following points in your essay: (1) Begin by describing her early life as a musician, including the way in which she was treated by her family and by the musical establishment of her time. ( 2) We need to think about the difficulties in professional advancement for women musicians in the romantic period. Juggling home and career, briefly discuss Clara Wieck Schumann’s role as performer, composer and wife/mother. (3) What evidence points to the face that Wieck Schumann had a highly successful career? To what extent was she influenced in her career by the expectations of her family and what role did her husband Robert play in her success as a concert pianist? (4) If you had to choose one virtuoso/composer (among those studied in class) whose musical style most closely resembles that of Clara Wieck Schumann, which composer would you favor? Using the musical elements discussed in class, give two or three reasons for your answer. (5) Define two of the favored genres, or types of musical works, generally reserved for women composers at that time. Why do you think women were not encouraged to compose large-scale, multi-movement symphonic works? Give one example of a large-scale, multi-movement work by Wieck Schumann. Why do you think she chose to write in this genre? Was this a work that showcased her virtuosity at the piano and helped her move forward with her career? (6) From the Historical Window, “Where were the Women,” how did Clara Wieck Schumann revolutionize the piano recital? Discuss the difficulties in organizing and managing her touring and concert recitals. Was her performing path similar to or different from other virtuoso/composers we have studied in the nineteenth century? Briefly discuss the musical path that Wieck Schumann chose after 1878. (7) Briefly describe the form and texture of Clara Wieck’s Romance in G Minor, Op. 11 No. 2, and describe the general mood of this work; (8) In your opinion, did Robert Schumann and his wife, Clara Wieck Schumann, serve as models for a working professional couple of today? Why or why not?

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