Chapter

SCHUMANN: CRYPTOGRAPHER OR PICTOGRAPHER?

John Daverio

in Crossing Paths

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195132960
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199867059 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195132960.003.0004
SCHUMANN: CRYPTOGRAPHER OR PICTOGRAPHER?

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Robert and Clara Schumann were one of the most remarkable artist couples in the history of Western music. Their emotional lives affected their artistry, and this process was especially decisive for Robert Schumann, whose letters eloquently confirm his desire to inscribe his beloved into the very fabric of his music. Clara also served as a muse to Johannes Brahms. This chapter examines the hypothesis that several of Schumann's and Brahms's works contain cryptic references to Clara's name, musical ciphers for “Clara” that act as sonorous emblems for a beloved image.

Keywords: Robert Schumann; Clara Schumann; Johannes; Brahms; music; cryptography

Chapter.  16184 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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