Episode 1

“A fallen, abominable, wicked girl”

Clara Schumann was a child prodigy turned international sensation — when she never should have been on stage at all. This is the story of a woman who was born to play, and refused to stop.

This episode of Decomposed includes the following works from these recordings:

Ludwig van Beethoven: Diabelli Variations: Variation IV
Konstantin Scherbakov, piano
Naxos 8.554372

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 16: I. Allegro
Laszlo Baranyay, piano
Amadis 7227

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14: III. Presto agitato
Silvia Capova, piano
Amadis 7021

Frederic Chopin: Etude, Op. 10, No. 1
Istvan Szekely, piano
Amadis 7064

Robert Schumann: Scenes from Childhood (Kinderszenen): Dreaming (Traumerei)
Laszlo Baranyay, piano
Amadis 7247

Clara Schumann: Prelude in F minor
Susanne Grutzmann, paino
Profil PH07065

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in F, K.44
Cedille Records CDR90000-042

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 16: I. Allegro
Laszlo Baranyay, piano
Amadis 7227

Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto: I. Allegro
Francesco Nicolosi, piano; Alma Mahler Sinfonietta, conducted by Stefania Rinaldi
Naxos 8.557552

Clara Schumann: Scherzo in D minor
Jozef de Beenhouwer, piano
CPO 999758-2

Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 1: I. Andante-Allegro
Silesian Philharmonic, conducted by Karol Stryja
Amadis 7055

Robert Schumann: Piano Sonata No. 1: III. Scherzo in F-sharp minor
Bernd Glemser, piano
Naxos 8.554275

Robert Schumann: Scenes from Childhood (Kinderszenen): Of Foreign Lands and People
Laszlo Baranyay, piano
Amadis 7247

Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto: III. Finale
Francesco Nicolosi, piano; Alma Mahler Sinfonietta, conducted by Stefania Rinaldi
Naxos 8.557552

Clara Schumann: Lieder Op. 13: II. Sie liebten sich beide
Dorothea Craxton, soprano; Hedayet Djeddikar, piano
Naxos 8.570747

Clara Schumann: Etude in A-flat
Jozef de Beenhouwer, piano
CPO 999758-2

Clara Schumann: Piano Trio Op. 17: III. Andante
Rodolfo Bonucci, violin; Andrea Noferini, cello; Francesco Nicolosi, piano
Naxos 8.557552

Robert Schumann: Piano Trio, Op. 11: I. Mit Energie und Leidenschaft
Vienna Brahms Trio
Naxos 8.553836

Clara Schumann: Variations on a theme by Robert Schumann
Franzpeter Goebels, piano
SWR Music SWR 10488

Clara Schumann: Soirees, Op. 6: II. Nocturne
Eugenie Russo, piano
Paladio Music PMR0028

Clara Schumann: Romance in B minor
Susanne Grutzmann, piano
Profil PH07065

All recordings courtesy of Naxos of America Inc.

Further reading:

  • Clara Schumann: The Artist and the Woman by Nancy B. Reich

  • Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Musicby Anna Beer

  • Secret Lives of Great Composers by Elizabeth Lunday

  • Schumann by Eric Frederick Jensen

  • Robert Schumann: The Life and Work of a Romantic Composer by Martin Geck

  • Early Letters of Robert Schumann, translated by May Herbert

  • “Florestan, Eusebius, Clara, and Schumann’s Right Hand” by Peter F. Ostwald, in 19th-Century Music, Vol. 4, No. 1

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