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CLARA SCHUMANN by John N. Burk Kirkus Star



Pub Date: March 20th, 1940
Publisher: Random House

A musical biography, and a book of much wider appeal than that would seem to indicate. For it is, in addition, the story of a great romance, a great tragedy and a great friendship. Clara Schumann was Clara Wieck, daughter of a teacher and critic, whose own thwarted ambition he determined to realize in his child. This is the story of the making of a musician, and Clara Schumann had a career of her own as a concert pianist, which her father feared would be wrecked by matrimony. So for years, the young pianist and the young composer were kept apart, until finally they overrode parental barriers and were married. She did submerge her gifts in his, but not wholly. Theirs was a tragic story, for all too soon his genius was clouded over by insanity, and he lived and died in an asylum. Other musicians -- and the musical life of Europe during a generation -- and particularly the long and deep friendship with Brahms make this a colorful and interesting story for all who have any interest whatever in the arts. Not a musical biography from the technical standpoint.