DUET: The Story of Clara and Robert Schumann by Elisabeth Kyle

DUET: The Story of Clara and Robert Schumann

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Piano Prodigy, the Up-and-Coming Composer, the Tyrannical Father. Little Clara admires young Robert; he thinks her a sweet child. Fifteen-year-old Clara depends on Robert's companionship; he falls in love with flirtatious Ernestine yon Fricken. But Ernestine bores Robett: Clara is real. Mutual confession, kiss, pledge. Re-enter Father Wieck, fuming: he will not relinquish virtuoso Clara's income or his prestige as her teacher. She has always obeyed; she will wait. On her eighteenth birthday, Robert asks for her hand; Herr Wieck refuses. Stalemate. When she is twenty, the two ask again; Herr W. is adamant; the lovers take their case to court. More delay. The court decides in their favor; Clara and Robert marry. . . Clara's emergence as a perfomer quite overshadows Robert's growth as a composer, which is so sketchy and so full of skips here as to be meaningless if not misleading. This is graceful in the manner of light opera, with the appropriate props and flats, and just as easy to enjoy; but the idyll ended more bitterly than the author acknowledges in her epilogue, and there's a certain guaziness throught.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1968
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston