His acquaintance with the celebrated teacher Wieck, whose gifted daughter Clara afterward became his wife, finally established his career; for it was through Wieck's advice that the Schumann family yielded their opposition to the young man's bent. Once settled in his new career, Schumann gave himself up to work with the most indefatigable ardor.
Intense poetic sentiment, dreamy yet strong musical individuality, romantic fulness of plan to embody in tones the passionate emotions of a storm and stress period, and much originality of orchestral treatment characterize the symphonies of Schumann.
Clara bore him eight children, and at her concerts there was usually a nurse with a babe in arms waiting for her in the wings. Schumann wrote three sonatas for his three daughters, and other compositions for them. His famous "Kinderscenen" were, however, composed before his marriage. This was not far off, but before life went, he must suffer a death in life.
Schumann says that Chopin here "bound together four of his maddest children," and he is not astray. He thinks the march does not belong to the work. It certainly was written before its companion movements. As much as Hadow admires the first two movements, he groans at the last pair, though they are admirable when considered separately. These four movements have no common life.
A woman of 30, normal and intelligent, after conversing on love and passion, and then listening to the music of Grieg and Schumann, felt real and strong sexual excitement, increased by memories recalled by the presence of a sympathetic person. There was, however, great variability in the individual pressures which sometimes equaled and even exceeded the subject's normal efforts.
But nearly all the places they visited offered admiration and incense to the faithful pair of artists. Through Schumann's genius, that of his wife was influenced, and Clara Schumann became far greater than Clara Wieck had ever been. She became a true priestess of art. She did not rest until she gave the world a clear understanding of the depth of thought in his great works.
While Schumann was earning his living and a wide reputation by publishing the praises of other composers, by burrowing in all the obscure meaning of new geniuses, and revealing their messages to the world, his own great works were lying ignored and uncomprehended and seemingly forgotten.
She had been born at Leipzig on September 13, 1819, and was only nine years old, and nine years younger than Schumann, when they met. She made a sensational début in concert the same year. And, child as she was, she excited at once the keenest and most affectionate admiration in Schumann.
The secular cantata attempted in recent times by Schumann, as well as by English composers of smaller calibre is a very high form of vocal music; and if founded on an adequate libretto, dealing with some supremely grand or tragical situation, is capable of being carried to an unprecedented height of musical elaboration.
Now old Wieck returned to his congenial state of wrath. He declared that Clara was far too extravagant ever to live on Schumann's earnings, though she insisted that Schumann was assured of one thousand thalers a year, and she could earn an equal sum with one concert a winter in Dresden, where prices were so high. But just then the prosperity of Schumann's paper began to slough off.