Perfect couple or domestic tragedy? Clara and Robert Schumann were united by a deep love and passion for music. Because Clara’s father disapproved of their relationship, they had to fight a legal battle to gain permission to marry. When they were finally able to marry in 1840, they seemed to have reached the goal of their desires: “We enjoy a happiness such as I never knew before. Father has always laughed at so-called domestic bliss,” Clara noted in her diary. They both regarded a personal and artistic symbiosis as the ideal of their partnership. Together they studied musical masterworks, intensively exchanged ideas about them and carried out collaborative artistic projects. “We shall publish a good deal under both our names; posterity shall regard us as one heart and one soul and not find out what is yours and what is mine,” Robert wrote.
At the beginning of their marriage, Clara was an acclaimed, famous pianist, Robert a still relatively unknown composer. That would soon change. Because of her responsibilities as a housewife and mother, Clara frequently had to restrain her artistic ambitions, whereas Robert’s creative urge was spurred on by the new domesticity, and success gradually came for his works as well. Thus, despite their obvious affection for each other, there was also a latent rivalry. Clara struggled to fulfil her roles as artist, composer, mother, wife and housewife. Robert’s unstable mental state was also a burden that his wife had to cope with. The two of them had an unusual partnership for that time since, as a result of their often precarious financial situation, Clara never abandoned her concert career entirely.
During this Philharmonic Salon, Götz Teutsch transports his audience to the world of Clara and Robert Schumann with historical texts read by Heikko Deutschmann and Imogen Kogge, lets it share their daily routine, their social life, their thoughts and feelings. Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and pianist Cordelia Hofer provide the musical framework with works by Clara and Robert Schumann as well as Johannes Brahms.