Clara Schumann was a piano virtuoso of her time, performing publicly beginning at age nine. Today, we also know Clara by her lovely compositions which, unfortunately, were forgotten following her death and not re-discovered until the twentieth century.
Nineteenth-century Germany was not exactly supportive of its women composers and Clara once wrote in her diary ‘I once thought that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose—not one has been able to do it, and why should I expect to?’
That being said, Clara did write quite a few reputable works that she likely performed during her career. Today, let’s look at her Piano Concerto in a minor, Op. 7—a work composed when she was just 13 and premiered at age 16 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus under the direction of Felix Mendelssohn. Robert Schumann, who was studying with Clara’s father at the time, helped the young girl with some of her orchestrations for this lyrical piece. You can listen below:
Can you believe this is the work of a child?