The Faces and the Masks
Author(s): Judith Chernaik
Original Publish Date: Sep 18, 2018
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (12.88 hours)
Product Number: Z100133036
Released: Sep 18, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780525642978
Please log in to view pricing


A groundbreaking account of Robert Schumann, a major composer and key figure of Romanticism, whose life and works have been the subject of intense controversy since his early death in a mental asylum. Schumann: The Faces and the Masks draws us into the milieu of the Romantic movement, which enraptured poets, musicians, painters, and their audiences in the early nineteenth century and beyond, even to the present day. It reveals how Schumann (1810-1856) embodied all the contrasting themes of Romanticism—he was intensely original and imaginative but also worshipped the past; he believed in political, personal, and artistic freedom but insisted on the need for artistic form based on the masters: Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. It details his deep involvement with other composers of his time, such as Chopin and Mendelssohn, Liszt and Brahms, as well as the literary lights of the age—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heinrich Heine, E.T.A. Hoffmann—whose works gave inspiration to his compositions and words to his songs. Drawing on hitherto unpublished archive material, as well more established sources of journals, letters, and publications, Judith Chernaik provides enthralling new insight into Schumann's life and his music: his sexual escapades, his fathering of an illegitimate child, the facts behind his courtship of Clara Wieck—already a noted young concert pianist—his passionate marriage to her despite the opposition of her manipulative father, his passionate marriage, and the ways his many crises fed into the dreams and fantasies of his greatest works, turning his tumultuous life into music that speaks directly to the heart.

All formats/editions

Author(s): Judith Chernaik
Product Number EB00717353
Released: Sep 18, 2018
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: #9780451494474

Professional reviews

"Narrator Nicol Zanzarella's clear voice delivers this meticulous biography of a turbulently emotional genius who had several identities--German composer Robert Schumann. Zanazarella's vocal style creates intrigue that demands the listeners engagement with the tormented composer, as well as his wife, Clara, whose family strongly opposed their marriage. Scholarship and skilled criticism are evident in Chernaik's in-depth narrative and his examination of every piece of Schumann's published music. The work bogs down a bit with lengthy quotes from Schumann's letters, but one's interest revives as each letter concludes. This audiobook is certain to be of interest to music scholars. W.A.G. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"

Sign up for our email newsletter