[UCP Books]: Robert Schumann: The Life and Work of a Romantic Composer
Advance Praise for Robert Schumann
“The most romantic of Romantic composers, Schumann yet took J. S. Bach and Beethoven as his masters, and his music is full of references to both. Geck notes virtually all those illusions and inspirations as he hews closely to his demonstration of his subject’s originality. . . . [A] superb biography.”
The Life and Work of a Romantic Composer
by Martin Geck
|Publication Date: November 30, 2012||978-0-226-28469-9|
|UK Publication Date: December 3, 2012||$35.00/£22.50|
Robert Schumann (1810–56) is one of the most important and representative composers of the Romantic era. Born in Zwickau, Germany, Schumann began piano instruction at age seven and immediately developed a passion for music. When a permanent injury to his hand prevented him from pursuing a career as a touring concert pianist, he turned his energies and talents to composing, writing hundreds of works for piano and voice, as well as four symphonies and an opera. Here acclaimed biographer Martin Geck tells the fascinating story of this multifaceted genius, set in the context of the political and social revolutions of his time.
The image of Schumann, the man and the artist, that emerges in Geck’s book is complex. Geck shows Schumann to be not only a major composer and music critic but also a political activist, the father of eight children, and an addict of mind-altering drugs. Through hard work and determination bordering on the obsessive, Schumann was able to control his demons and channel the tensions that seethed within him into music that mixes the popular and esoteric, resulting in compositions that require the creative engagement of reader and listener. Martin Geck’s book on Schumann is not just another rehashing of Schumann’s life and works but an intelligent, personal interpretation of the composer as a musical, literary, and cultural personality.
Martin Geck is professor of musicology at the Technical University of Dortmund. He is the author of more than two dozen books, including Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work. Stewart Spencer is an independent scholar and the translator of more than three dozen books.
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