Frauenliebe und Leben: Robert Schumann’s self-fulfilling prophecy Public Deposited

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  • The basis of this research paper is the work of Robert Schumann, particularly his lieder cycle Frauenliebe und Leben, and how it predicted the conditions and events of Robert and Clara Schumann’s marriage. I will discuss Schumann’s composition of Frauenliebe und Leben in the context of his relationship with Clara. I will also analyze Chamisso’s poetry and Schumann’s decision to use it in this cycle. The process of Robert and Clara marrying was particularly difficult because of Clara’s father, and I will study their correspondence around the time of Frauenliebe und Leben’s composition to further my understanding of the situation as a whole. In terms of their work post-marriage I will discuss Clara’s transformation from a musician to a wife and mother; while she still composed and performed, she was forced to be mainly a wife, a mother, and an admirer of Robert’s work.. Some emphasis will be given to gender roles in nineteenth-century German marriages, which was illustrated both through the texts used in Frauenliebe und Leben and in Clara’s role in the Schumann household. I am interested in this topic because I am learning the Frauenliebe und Leben cycle for my upcoming voice recital and I want to learn more about it. I also am fascinated with the idea of two active composers marrying and having a family together. My goal with this research paper is to gain a deep understanding of the song cycle as a whole and grasp its place in Robert and Clara Schumann’s lives and compositions.
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