Eugenie Schumann, youngest daughter of the famed composer Robert Schumann and his wife Clara discusses her memories of her life, and her studies with Johannes Brahms.
Drawing upon correspondences between members of the Schumann family, Eugenie relates her memories of childhood and education, and her experiences learning music under the tutorship of Johannes Brahms. The ongoing fame of her mother Clara Schumann meant the family was consistently under the musical spotlight, the public eager for each new performance and composition.
Eugenie’s recollections of her siblings are poignant: more than once, we hear of the pressure her siblings were under to meet the achievements of their gifted parents. Despite these stresses, Eugenie places emphasis on her mother’s caring and compassionate nature – though the encroaching demands of fame were a fact of the Schumann family life, Clara Schumann is praised for her efforts at keeping the family united.
This edition of Eugenie’s memoirs reproduces the family photographs, and several musical scores pertinent to the Schumanns. Particularly interesting are Eugenie’s descriptions of Brahms – a meticulous man with an astonishing commitment to his work, and held Clara in the highest regard for her musical talents and sensitive yet matriarchal nature.