Autograph Letter - Robert Schumann

SCHUMANN, Robert (1810-1856). Autograph letter signed (‘Robert Schumann’) to [Albert Heintz: ‘Geehrter Herr’], Dresden, 20 August 1845. 

In German. Two pages (letter: 204 x 132mm; in total: 226 x 156mm), (inlaid, reinforced with archival gauze). 

‘Do you not know the poems of Eichendorf[f]?’: Schumann shares one of the great sources of inspiration for his Liederjahr with a young composer. Schumann has returned from a short outing to find his correspondent’s letter and songs: ‘Many of the latter, indeed, the majority, touched me, above all, as you rightly guessed, the Frühlingslied from [Heinrich] Heine and the following one in E major’, whose finesse in form and expression he compliments. If Heintz has not heard of Eichendorf[f], Schumann recommends his poetry for composition. Asking if Heintz still has not heard from Theodor Kirchner, Schumann warns darkly that he must break his silence, lest he incur the ire of his friends. 

Crowning Schumann’s ‘year of song’ of 1840, during which he focussed almost exclusively on vocal composition, was his Liederkreis, Op. 39, a song cycle drawing upon the poetry of Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857). A turn towards this most marketable of musical genres may have been prompted in part by the desire to convince Clara Wieck of his financial stability; Schumann’s feelings towards his future wife certainly guided his composition. In May of 1840 he wrote to tell her ‘Much of you is embedded in my Eichendorff Liederkreis’. 


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