Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)



In 1848, Schumann was looking for another new challenge and he found it in Dresden as chorus master and composer for various choirs.

Inspite of the revolutions sweeping across Europe, he managed to evade any military action and carried on composing - including fulfilling his greatest ambition, to write an opera.

Presented by Donald Macleod.

Sommerlied, Op 146, No 4

London Schubert Chorale

Stephen Layton (conductor)

Genoveva, Act 2

Genoveva....Edda Moser

Golo....Peter Schreier

Drago....Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Margaretha....Gisela Schröter

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

Kurt Masur (conductor)

Mignon from Album für die Jugend, Op 68

Angela Brownridge (piano)

March, Op 76, No 2

Sviatoslav Richter (piano)

Requiem for Mignon, Op 98b

Brigitte Lindner, Andrea Andonian (soprano)

Mechthild Georg (alto)

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bass)

Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra

Bernhard Klee (conductor).


Donald Macleod looks at the key relationship in Schumann's life - with his wife Clara.

Fürchtenmachen from Kinderszenen

Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano)

Abegg Variations, Op 1

Michel Dalberto (piano)

Piano Sonata, Op 11

Leif Ove-Andsnes (piano)



Despite the relentless and ruthless opposition of her father, Schumann and Clara Wieck were eventually married in 1840.

During that same year, Schumann turned his attention to writing songs - and at a staggering rate.

Donald Macleod intersperses stories from the Schumanns' early days together with music from the 'year of song'.

Widmung from Myrthen, Op 25, No 1

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)

Christoph Eschenbach (piano)

Myrthen, Op 25, No 20-26

Lynne Dawson (soprano)

Ian Partridge (tenor)

Julius Drake (piano)

Frauenliebe und Leben, Op 42

Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo)

Irwin Gage (piano)

Zwolf Gedichte aus Liebesfruhling, Op 37, No 1-6

Stella Doufexis (mezzo)

Oliver Widmer (baritone)

Graham Johnson (piano).


Donald Macleod advances a year in Schumann's life to 1841, when vocal music gave way to another new soundworld - orchestral music.

Schlusslied des Narren

Jonathan Lemalu (baritone)

Graham Johnson (piano)

Spring Symphony

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

James Levine (conductor)

Overture, Scherzo and Finale, Op 52

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Gerard Schwarz (conductor).


Another year, another style of music for Robert Schumann.

Donald Macleod uncovers the stories and sounds of 1842.

Volksliedchen (Lieder und Gesange, Op 51, No 2)

Stella Doufexis (mezzo)

Graham Johnson (piano)

String Quartet in Am, Op 41, No 1

Hagen Quartet

Das Paradies und die Peri (excerpt)

Barbara Bonney and Alexandra Coku (sopranos)

Bernarda Fink (mezzo)

Chrisoph Prégardien and Neill Archer (tenors)

The Monteverdi Choir

Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor).