Schumann was born on 8th of June, 1810, in a small town located at the border of the Czech Republic. While he was growing up he was surrounded by various books, this being mostly because his father was a successful bookseller and an author. …
In the 1830s he started writing piano miniatures which were extraordinary. Also it was during this time that he made his debut as a music critic and started his own journal, which became the focus of his efforts. In this journal he championed composers who had talent, and established a canon of Romantic music. It was also during these years that he composed his masterpieces; Carnaval, for piano and Dichterliebe. In 1840 he married Clara Wieck, a talented pianist inducing an element of stability in his life however this was also when his mental health started to deteriorate. His failure at opera, Genoveva, in 1843 caused him a great disappointment after which his mental state continued to deteriorate. After an attempt at suicide in 1854 he voluntarily entered an asylum. It was here that he passed away in 1856 (Worthen, 2007). In mid June 1882, Igor Fedorovich Stravinsky was born in a town near St. Petersburg in Russia. From a small age he was surrounded by music mostly because his father was a star singer of the Imperial Opera. When he was 9 he started piano lessons and studied music throughout his early life. In 1902 he, like Schumann, pursued a law degree however music was where his real interest was. Also just like Schumann, he started his musical career as a amateur pianist and was bilingual. Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, his teacher started giving him regular lesson from 1905 till 1908.
Although Stravinsky’s first composition was that of a Symphony, which he wrote in 1906, it was The Firebird, a ballet composed in 1910, which put him under the spotlight. This was followed by Petrushka, which like The Firebird was a modern composition of something which was fundamentally Russian. It was his third ballet, The Rite of Spring which established his name as one of the well known composers of the age. In 1920 he moved to France and formed a partnership with the company that manufactured pianos, Pleyel. During 1939 he delivered lectures in Harvard and was already working on his symphony in C. This was meant for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It was in this year that he moved to United States and married one again. He was on the set of the Paramount Pictures in 1956, where he recorded the musical score for the production “The Court Jester”. An incorporation of many of the modern classical styles of music was a major part of Stravinsky’s professional life. In 1959, he received the Sonning Award, which is one of Denmark’s highest honors. He returned to Leningrad to do a series of concerts in 1962. It was in 1971 that he died at the age of 88 and was buried in Venice. The piece I have chosen from Schumann’s compositions is Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra Op. 131 played by Arnold Katz. There are several key differences between this composition and Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’. These differences also go to reflect the major changes in music over the passage of time, more specifically from the Romantic era to the Neoclassical era. You see, Schumann’s composition comprises of the key characteristics being reflected in his work. These are those of highlighting the orchestra’s highly praised 2009 Beethoven cycle. A key characteristic of Schumann’s work is a reflection of the love of nature. You see the romantic era was all about the critical ...
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