Tuesday, April 5, 2011

correspondence course: robert schumann to clara wieck

After seeing 8 year-old Clara Wieck perform, 17 year-old Robert Schumann quit his law studies to pursue music lessons with Clara's father.  When she was 15 he was completely smitten with her and wrote this charming and whimsical letter....

Mr. Green in the Albion Balloon, Having Ascended from Vauxhall, Metropolitan Museum of Art
...In the beginning I had various plans with regard to our correspondence. I wanted, for instance, to start a public one with you in the music journal; then I wanted to fill my hot-air balloon (you know that I own one) with ideas for letters, and arrange an ascent in a favourable wind with a suitable destination... I wanted to catch butterflies as letter-carriers to you. I wanted to send my letters first to Paris, so that you should open them with great curiousity, and then, more than surprised, would believe me in Paris. In short, I had many witty dreams in my head, from which only today the horn of the post has awakened me. Postillions, my dear Clara, have, by the way, as magical an effect on my as the most excellent champagne. Once seems to hvae no heqd, one has such a delightfully light heart, when one hears them trumpeting so joyously out into the world...

Leipzig, 1834

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