Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Twin Spirits- Robert and Clara Schumann


"One of the most moving love stories in the world of music is the relationship between Robert and Clara Schumann. In 2007, the British producer David Caird put together a music theater piece called Twin Spirits at London's Covent Garden in which Derek Jacoby narrated the romantic and tragic story, with Sting and his wife Trudie Styler reading passages from Robert and Clara's letters and the remarkable diary they kept together in the first years of their marriage. Some excellent chamber musicians and singers punctuate the readings with excerpts from the works of both Robert and Clara."
  This is a lovely DVD, a bit schmaltzy, but lovely. I was enchanted by the marriage diary Robert and Clara wrote together. The words written to each other are as beautiful as their music. Some of the details of their private life reveal their music preferences. Clara found the Don Giovanna score fascinating to play on the piano and of course, the music by Robert.
  They had 8 children in 13 years. When did Clara have time to compose, or for that matter, have time to play? And imagine the overwhelming mental condition of her husband which drove him to insanity. When she was alone she put her efforts into supporting her children, and mentally keeping Robert alive, with concert tours and composition.
 The Schuman's music is performed by superb pianists and vocalists. I found my copy of Traumeri and played with a different feeling after watching this production.

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