Friedrich was a pianist of the old school, owner of a piano shop, a critic, and a teacher. He was arrogant and overpowering, and with his daughter he saw a chance to create a child prodigy. On the one hand, he thought there was nothing wrong with a woman musician having a professional career (unlike Abraham Mendelssohn, who encouraged his son Felix, but stamped on the fortunes of his equally talented big sister, Fanny), but his control over Clara when she was young was suffocating and creepy. All the early entries in her diary were written by Friedrich, and he never allowed her to read. By hook or crook, she would become a great German musician, and his masterplan paid off. Clara was his best student. By eight, she was playing concertos by Mozart; by 10, she was touring Germany; by 13, she had begun work on her own piano concerto; by 16, it had received a premiere in Leipzig, conducted by Felix Mendelssohn with Clara as soloist. But there was a cost. “I am a girl within my own armour,” she tellingly wrote of her teenage self, and by the time she was 20 she was experiencing blackouts on stage, chest pains and other physiological and psychological illness.
Junk Shop Classical On Clara Schumann: Music Stories Told £1 LP By £1 LP Phil Hebblethwaite , June 25th, 2018 12:27
Clara Schumann had one of the most extraordinary lives in 19th century music, says Phil Hebblethwaite. Against the odds, she made it as a pianist, and she ought to have been recognised as a great composer too