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Robert Schumann


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Named an Outstanding Academic Book of 1997 by CHOICE

About the Author

John Daverio is Associate Professor and Chairman of the Musicology Department at the Boston University School for the Arts. He is the author of Nineteenth-Century Music and the German Romantic Ideology, and has published on the music of Schumann, Brahms, and Wagner in a number of professional journals.


"In place of the usual pathograpy, Daverio offers a finely integrated account of the life and the work of a composer whose life and work were inwardly interconnected as only a true Romantic's could be. One of the special rewards of Daverio's approach is a more sypathetic and insightful treatment of the later, lesser-known portion of Schumann's output, including all of his largest works, than can be found in any other comprehensive study."--Richard Taruskin, Professor of Music, University of California, Berkeley "What a godsend John Daverio's book is for those who need something on Schumann in English. Daverio's account is informed, sensitive, and delivered in an inviting style. Reading this book, I found myself especially grateful for its much-needed correctives: for the emphasis on Schumann's skill with large forms, sweeping away the old cliche that he was successful only in miniatures and character pieces; for the persuasive discussion of the late works against the mindless repetition by critics that they are feeble; and for the committed, indeed impassioned, discussion of such neglected masterpieces as Das Paradies und die Peri, Genoveva, and the Scenes from Goethe's Faust."--Michael Steinberg, Program Annotator, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic "For a long time, we have needed a new and freshly researched biography of Schumann. Anyone who tries dipping into John Daverio's new study will soon be captured by his lively and absorbing writing and the depth of context that illuminates his discussion of the music."--Stanley Sadie, Editor of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians "This is a cogent and sensitive biography of a pioneering composer who sought to and did capture poetry in his music."--Booklist "This Schumann biography is a big read. Beneath its maroon-and-cream dust cover lies an embarrassment of musical riches.... Schumann has a perceptive interpreter and champion here. No better book on the composer is likely to emerge."-- Michael Pollard,Financial Times "A scholarly but entertaining history of the quintessential Romantic composer."--Library Journal "Not content merely to recycle the sloppy cliches that have so damaged Shumann's reputation, [Daverio] assesses every work on its own terms, thus helping us to appreciate the amazing bredth of Schumann's inspiration.... This is an inspired book which should gladden the hearts and minds of Schumann lovers."--Steven Isserlis, Music Magazine "Robert Schumann is precisely the kind of book that we need about each of the composers who form the core of our musical lives....[Daverio] offers musical analyses that will intrigue the reader about many works rarely or never heard and at the same time brings a new understanding to the best-loved pieces....This most welcome volume is likely to be the standard biography of Schumann for many years to come."--Steven Ledbetter, Boston Symphony Orchestra

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