- CLARA SCHUMANN
- ROBERT SCHUMANN Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129
- JOHANNES BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
- In-person event
Join us for a free pre-concert talk at Peter Herrndorf Place in the NAC, featuring Brahms biographer Jan Swafford and musicologist Hannah Chan-Hartley.
Our season-opening festival FOCUS: Clara, Robert, Johannes celebrates the abiding friendship between Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms who encouraged and inspired each other through lives of prolific creativity, troubling uncertainty, and perhaps even unrequited love.
Clara Wieck Schumann gave her first performance when she was nine years old and went on to become a wildly successful concert pianist over a 61-year career. She was also an accomplished composer, particularly in the Lied (art song) repertoire, incorporating the poetry she loved into her songs.
Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor was never performed in his lifetime and only premiered in April 1860, four years after his death. It remained virtually unknown for decades, but became a core part of the concerto repertoire in the twentieth century. This tender cello concerto finds a much-deserved spotlight in the hands of German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt.
According to Clara and Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms was the natural heir to Beethoven’s symphonic legacy, but the acclaim left Brahms feeling unnerved. “I shall never write a symphony. You have no idea how we feel when we hear the tramp of a giant like him behind us.” It’s not surprising, then, that Brahms took at least 14 years to complete his first symphony, and he continued to revise it for many more. Nevertheless, in its final form, Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 is an unparalleled masterpiece.