Auf dem Rhein
Op. 51 no.4
Part of a series or song cycle:
Lieder und Gesänge, ii (Op. 51)
Auf dem Rhein
On the Rhine
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Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.
Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Kinderszenen, Album für die Jugend, Blumenstück, the Sonatas and Albumblätter are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.
In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, against the wishes of her father, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.
Schumann suffered from a lifelong mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of ‘exaltation’ and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted to amental asylum, at his own request, in Endenich near Bonn. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.
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Karl Leberecht Immermann was a German dramatist, novelist and a poet.
He was born at Magdeburg, the son of a government official. In 1813 he went to study law at Halle, where he remained, after the suppression of the university by Napoleon in the same year, until Frederick William III of Prussia's "Summons to my people" on 17 March. Immermann responded quickly, but was prevented by illness from taking part in the earlier campaign; he fought, however, in 1815 at Ligny and Waterloo, and marched into Paris with Blücher.
At the conclusion of the war he resumed his studies at Halle, and after being Referendar in Magdeburg, was appointed in 1819 Assessor at Münster in Westphalia. Here he made the acquaintance of Elise von Lützow, Countess von Ahlefeldt, wife of Ludwig Adolf Wilhelm Freiherr von Lützow. She inspired him to begin writing, and their relationship is reflected in several dramas written about this time.
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