Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
There can be no doubt that Robert Schumann is one of the leading composers of the romantic era. Born in Zwickau, he studied law in Heidelberg and Leipzig before devoting himself completely to music in 1830.
Robert Schumann ended his career as a virtuoso pianist due to a strained finger. He founded the“Neue Zeitschrift für Musik,” on which he collaborated until 1844. In 1840 he married his piano teacher's daughter Clara Wieck – and also wrote many song cycles that year. His marriage to Clara inspired him to write an impressive number of other works for piano and orchestra as well. Still, he suffered under Clara's success as a pianist. A neurological disorder led him to attempt a suicide in 1854. He died at an “insane asylum” in Endenich near Bonn at the age of 46.
Schumann's first contacts with the publishing house of Breitkopf & Härtel go back to 1831. From that time on, there were close ties between Schumann and the publisher. Breitkopf had already published “Carnaval” in 1837. It was followed by first editions such as the “Kinderszenen” and the “Lieder-Album für die Jugend.” Schumann particularly admired the publisher's high professional standards and flawless music engraving. His most important works, such as the first and fourth symphonies and the oratorio “Das Paradies and die Peri” were also first printed by Breitkopf & Härtel in collaboration with Johannes Brahms.
The Schumann Complete Edition was published by Breitkopf & Härtel between 1879 and 1893, and edited by Clara Schumann together with Johannes Brahms. Incidentally, the Schumann scholar Joachim Draheim has been specifically honored for his work on the current Urtext editions.