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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000662.txt from 2002/05

From: "mlmarmer" <mlmarmer@-----.com>
Subj: Re: [kl] Clara Schumann
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 18:50:11 -0400

Michael,

Robert did have a had hand injury in 1831, that he was so overwrought with
it, he wrote his brother, Julius, in September, 1831 that he was in such a
state of restlessness and indecision that he almost wished to put a bullet
through his head (!). Thankfully, he didn't!

As for the Syphilis, I appreciated your backing, but there is no mention of
it in Ms. Reich book, so I am not sure, but maybe, but Robert was a strange
person his whole life, with his mental problems. No real help for it, back
in those days.

Gene, sorry to ruin the fun! O:)!

Mike

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Bryant" <michael@-----.uk>
Subject: Re: [kl] Clara Schumann

> The Australian medical doctor John O'Shea's book
> 'Music and Medicine', J. M. Dent 1990, may help on the
> medical conditions of many composers, including Schumann.
>
> He discusses Eliot Slater's suggestion in 'Robert Schumann:
> The Man and his Music' (London 1972), that he suffered
> from Neurosyphilis, as well as his psychiatric condition and
> hand injury. He points out that 19th cen. reports of syphilis
> should be regarded with caution since the agent (treponema
> pallidum) was not identified until 1905 and not isolated until 1913.
> He concludes that syphilis was most probably not the cause
> of Schumann's decline in health. He summarised his findings as
> follows (scanned): Causes of Mental Illness as postulated by his
> biographers:
>
> Franz Richarz (1856): Incomplete general paralysis Paul Mobius (1856):
> dementia praecox (schizophrenia)
> Hans Gruhle (1856), Eric Sams (1972), Eliot Slater (1972):
> Neurosyphilis (general paralysis of the insane)
> Hans Martin Sutermeister (1959): Involutional and situational depression
> Peter F. Ostwald (1985):
> Axis 1 Mental disorder: bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive
> illness)
> Axis 2 Personality disorder: unusual personality characterized by
> histrionic,
> obsessive, compulsive elements and `divided self'
> Axis 3 Physical disorders: alcohol abuse, obesity, possible hypertension,
> cardiovascular disease and other occult organic illness
> iatrogenic illness - inappropriate medication by medical attendants
> Axis 4 Psycho-social stress factors:
> difficult relationship with wife, Clara; isolation at Endenich
> failure of career as pianist
> loss of creativity as a composer
> Axis 5 Highest level of adaptation recently achieved
> Letters and communications from Schumann during his stay at Endenich
> do not indicate that he suffered from a dementing disorder. Schumann
> was unsuited to his position as music director at Dusseldorf by
> temperament and because of recurring illness. Failure in this position
> was a key factor in precipitating his final depression.
> Dieter Kerner (1963) : Hypertensive encephalopathy
> Other: Psychosis of mercurialism. Chronic alcoholic hallucinosis
>
> MB
>
> Mike Marmer wrote on Saturday, May 25, 2002 2:38 AM
> Subject: [kl] Clara Schumann
>
>
> > There is a great book about Clara Schumann by Nancy B. Reich, "Clara
> > Schumann The Artist and the Woman" and there is no mention of Robert
> having
> > Syphilis and Clara had eight children and 7 lived to a ripe old age for
> the
> > 1800's, several into the 1900's. He suffered form "nerve illness" that
> > effected him most of his life the last 10 to 15 years. Nerve illness is
> like
> > a very bad cold, with great weakness, cold, fever, aches, pains, caused
by
> > anxiety and melancholia, depression, basically. He suffered physical
and
> > mental breakdowns.
> >
> > Clara's father just didn't like the guy. Robert was basically a
depressed
> > person and died in 1856. Brahm's was many years younger than Clara, and
> > they could of married, since they both live in to the late 1800's.
Brahms
> > died in 1897 and Clara in 1896, some 40 years longer than Robert, so
Clara
> > was available. Robert did have an affair before Clara.
> >
> > Clara's and Robert's children were Marie (1841-1916), Elise (1843-1928),
> > Julie (1845-1872 ), Emil (1846-1847), Ludwig (1848-1899), Ferdinand
> > (1849-1891), Eugenie (1851-1938) and Felix (1854-1879), so only one
died
> as
> > an infant and all had pretty long lives for the times. Many had
problems.
> > Marie was with Clara till the end, as a companion.
> >
> > Clara and women had a hard life in the 1800's. Women basically played
> Piano
> > to entertain families, reason why piano sales in the early 1800's
boomed.
> > It was unheard of for a woman to have a career earning money. She made
> more
> > money than Robert and was the breadwinner in the family, as Robert
became
> > more and more depressed.
> >
> > Women were not allowed to travel alone as she did. She played up until
> the
> > day she gave birth. She was a cold mother for the most part, as she
> didn't
> > care about Felix's need for her in the end and he died alone. There is
no
> > mention in this book about them having Syphilis. Nancy has done allot
of
> > research on her.
> >
> > It been several years since I read this book, but Clara's father JUST
> hated
> > the guy, like in many marriages of today. Robert was many years older
> than
> > Clara. Clara's father was a music teacher to Robert for awhile.
> >
> > Robert and Clara didn't see each other for 1 and half years during the
> > courtship. They wrote letters to keep in touch while engaged.
> >
> > I highly recommend this book, as Clara had allot talent and wrote allot,
> > that is not played much or recorded in the music world.
> >
> > Mike Marmer
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: <MVinquist@-----.com>
> > To: <klarinet@-----.org>
> > Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 8:48 PM
> > Subject: RE: [kl] More Brahms Trivia
> >
> >
> > >
> > > There was a discussion of the Brahms/bordello story on the AMS
(American
> > > Musicological Society) list about a year ago in the context of the
> > > reliability of various Brahms biographies.
> > >
> > > The true version is apparently the non-sensational one. Brahms gigged
> > around
> > > in various clubs, but the bordello story is simply embroidery, with no
> > basis
> > > in any historical data.
> > >
> > > Also, Brahms was desperately in love with Clara Schumann. The
> speculation
> > is
> > > that, at least during his adulthood, the reason he never married was
> that
> > > Clara was unavailable. There's further speculation that Robert
> Schumann
> > > had syphilis, which was the reason for his insanity and why Clara's
> father
> > > opposed the marriage. He was reconciled only when Clara had
apparently
> > > healthy children. However, the all died young, perhaps indicating
> > congenital
> > > syphilis. If Clara contracted syphilis from Robert, that would
explain
> > why
> > > she and Brahms didn't marry.
> > >
> > > I haven't read anything to indicate that Brahms was closeted gay, but
> it's
> > > certainly a possibility.
> > >
> > > Best regards.
> > >
> > > Ken Shaw
> > >
> > > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>

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