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A Day with Robert Schumann   By: (-1936)

A Day with Robert Schumann by May Clarissa Gillington Byron

A Day with Robert Schumann by May Clarissa Gillington Byron is a captivating and insightful account of the life and work of the renowned composer Robert Schumann. Written with deep admiration and meticulous research, this book offers readers an intimate glimpse into the inner world of one of classical music's greatest minds.

The author skillfully navigates through the various aspects of Schumann's life, seamlessly intertwining biographical information, detailed descriptions of his musical compositions, and analyses of his artistic aspirations. Through her vivid prose, Byron brings to life the environment in which Schumann thrived, the challenges he faced, and the motivations that guided his brilliant creations.

What sets this book apart is the author's insight into the emotional landscapes that shaped Schumann's music. Byron's keen observation of Schumann's personal struggles with mental illness, his tormented love affair with Clara Wieck, and the profound influence of his contemporaries adds a layer of depth to the narrative. This nuanced understanding enriches our appreciation of Schumann's compositions, allowing us to delve beyond the notes and gain a greater understanding of the man behind the music.

Byron's writing style is eloquent and engaging, effortlessly transporting the reader to the era in which Schumann lived. Her attention to detail and historical accuracy make this biography feel authentic and credible. The inclusion of letters, diary entries, and accounts from Schumann's contemporaries further enhances the book's vividness and credibility.

One of the most commendable aspects of A Day with Robert Schumann is the author's evident passion for her subject. Byron's enthusiasm for Schumann's music is contagious, and her ability to express the profound impact it has had on her own life is inspiring. This personal touch makes the book feel more than just a scholarly exploration of a great composer but rather a heartfelt tribute to a musical genius.

Although the book is rich in detail, it remains accessible to both music scholars and general readers. Byron strikes a balance between technical analysis and narrative flow, ensuring that even those with limited musical knowledge can fully appreciate and understand the significance of Schumann's contributions to the classical music canon.

In conclusion, A Day with Robert Schumann is a beautifully written and comprehensive biography that offers readers a nuanced understanding of the life and artistry of this influential composer. May Clarissa Gillington Byron's passion, meticulous research, and elegant prose make this book a must-read for anyone interested in classical music, the Romantic era, or the human stories that shape great works of art.

First Page:



My days I spend in courting, With songs and hearts a sporting, Or weaponed for a fight!

( Der Hidalgo ).





In the same Series. Mozart. Beethoven. Mendelssohn. Schubert. Chopin. Wagner. Gounod. Tschaikovsky.


It is an April morning in 1844, in the town of Leipzig, calm, cool, and fraught with exquisite promise of a prolific spring, when the Herr Professor Doctor Robert Schumann, rising before six o'clock as is his wont, very quietly and noiselessly in his soft felt slippers, dresses and goes downstairs. For he does not wish to disturb or incommode his sleeping wife, whose dark eyes are still closed, or to awaken any of his three little children.

The tall, dignified, well built man, with his pleasant, kindly expression, and his air of mingled intellect and reverie, bears his whole character written large upon him, his transparent honesty, unflagging industry, and generous, enthusiastic altruism. No touch of self seeking about him, no hint of ostentation or conceit: he is still that same reticent and silent person, of whom it was said some years ago by his friends,

"Herr Schumann is a right good man, He smokes tobacco as no one can: A man of thirty, I suppose, And short his hair, and short his nose... Continue reading book >>

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