Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review: "Robert Schumann: Herald of a 'New Poetic Age' "

A great biography and a fascinating appreciation of Schumann's work. Schumann was one of the great musical geniuses of the Romantic movement, and his contributions to musical form were unique and bizarre. Daverio is especially adept at pointing out the mastery in Schumann's often overlooked large-scale later works like "Scenes from Goethe's Faust" or "Das Paradies und die Peri", finding no loss in quality due to Schumann's supposed mental illness. Ear-opening and thought-provoking, delves into Schumann's literary interests (Jean-Paul, Hoffmann, Goethe, etc.) and illuminates the ways in which he endeavored to create a new musical-literary poetics (a line of thinking that would arguably culminate in Wagner's music dramas). A great read, and it made me think differently about the way I create my own art.

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