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The Creative Process in Music from Mozart to Kurtág$
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William Kinderman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037160

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037160.001.0001

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Schumann, Beethoven, and the “Distant Beloved”

Schumann, Beethoven, and the “Distant Beloved”

(p.77) 3 Schumann, Beethoven, and the “Distant Beloved”
The Creative Process in Music from Mozart to Kurtág

William Kinderman

University of Illinois Press

This chapter turns to Robert Schumann's Fantasie in C Major, op. 17, a piece that lies at the center of his innovative cluster of piano works from the 1830s and that was conceived in 1836 at the stressful nadir of his struggle for the hand of Clara Wieck, the brilliant young pianist who became his wife four years later. As originally conceived, the composition in question was an offering to Beethoven, who had died almost a decade earlier, in 1827. To better illustrate Schumann's approach to the piece, this chapter considers not only his compositional preoccupations and ongoing engagement with Beethoven's music but also Beethoven's own treatment of the theme of a distant beloved in several works—pieces that in turn became sources of inspiration for Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck during their difficult periods of separation in the later 1830s.

Keywords:   Robert Schumann, Fantasie in C Major, Ludwig van Beethoven, distant beloved, Clara Wieck

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