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Should a real musician be so tormented with music?

Misha Donat: Robert Schumann and E.T.A. Hoffmann, 15 July 1999

Robert Schumann: Herald of a ‘New Poetic Age’ 
by John Daverio.
Oxford, 618 pp., £30, June 1997, 0 19 509180 9
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The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr 
by E.T.A. Hoffman, translated by Anthea Bell.
Penguin, 350 pp., £7.99, April 1999, 0 14 044631 1
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... been kind to the music of Schumann’s final creative decade; and it is one of the strengths of John Daverio’s book that it devotes so much space to a sympathetic account of some sadly neglected works: not only to Genoveva and Das Paradies und die Peri, but also to the Scenen aus Göthe’s ‘Faust’, as well as Schumann’s second oratorio, Der ...

A, E♭, C, B

Paul Driver: Robert Schumann, 21 February 2008

Robert Schumann: Life and Death of a Musician 
by John Worthen.
Yale, 496 pp., £25, July 2007, 978 0 300 11160 6
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The Cambridge Companion to Schumann 
edited by Beate Perrey.
Cambridge, 302 pp., £19.99, June 2007, 978 0 521 78950 9
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Schumann’s Late Style 
by Laura Tunbridge.
Cambridge, 246 pp., £50, October 2007, 978 0 521 87168 6
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... cloud at the end of Schumann’s life has been seen as overshadowing everything on the way, but John Worthen’s biography refuses idle teleology. An emeritus professor of English at the University of Nottingham, Worthen has written about D.H. Lawrence and the Wordsworth circle and makes no claim to musical expertise; but he has been seized by the Schumann ...

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