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family business #1 Robert & Clara Schumann

Inaugurating its "Family Business" series, Trio Khaldei dedicates some programs in the following seasons to a few families of musicians, starting with Robert and Clara Schumann. They shared years of love and pain, exercised reciprocal influence and were for one another a never ending source of inspiration. 

Robert Schumann wrote the Drei Fantasiestücke for cello and piano in two days, in February 1849. Originally intended for clarinet and piano, the composer indicated that they could also be performed with viola or cello

Clara’s Piano Trio, composed three years before, is generally considered as one of her finest works. At the time, Robert and Clara were intensively studying Bach's music, inspiring Clara to develop a particular sense of counterpoint in this Trio.

Clara Schumann composed the Three Romances for violin and piano in 1853, and dedicated them to the legendary violinist Josef Joachim. She also performed an extensive tour with him during which she regularly performed her own compositions. A critic wrote about this piece in the Times: "Luxurious and poignant, to hear them we regret that Clara's composition career is subordinated to that of her husband."

Robert wrote his first Piano Trio in 1847, inspired by the one Clara had composed a year earlier. This trio announces a big change in Robert’s composition style, becoming more intellectual, more architectural. He wrote about this : "Before, I was composing almost all my short works in a wave of inspiration. From the year 1845, when for the first time I first elaborated everything mentally, I developed a new style of composition”. A new style that remains very intuitively expressive, traditional in form, but at the same time shows a great inventiveness in the way he eludes the "problems" associated with classical forms.