The Looming Shadow of Beethoven

This bog post covers the legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven. More specifically, it covers the coping mechanisms employed by Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, and Hector Berlioz to deal with that legacy.

These early Romantic composers dealt with the burden of Beethoven variously by imitating his epic scale or by rejecting his adherence to form.

The Frayed Ends of Schumann

This blog post is about the nineteenth-century Romantic composer/pianist Robert Schumann (1810-1856).

It focuses on Schumann’s struggle with neurosyphilis and how this infirmary deformed his final musical compositions.

One of these final compositions, an unusual piece known as Theme and Variation in E-flat Major, “Ghost Variations,” is considered as an example.