Should we be in seventh heaven because in 2018 we are able to present our glorious seven, namely Schumann Journal No. 7, with an impressive number of 445 pages? In any case, it is a great pleasure! The go-ahead for issuing a separate Schumann Journal was given in 2011 thanks to the support of the then German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, when the Project Manager of the Schumann Network, in existence since 2005, was able to launch not only the new Schumann Forum but also the first Schumann Journal which was presented in the spring of 2012 as the first volume including a review of 2011. The Schumann Journal has an international audience, incorporating Schumann-related activities all over the world, and is therefore largely bilingual – German and English. Our target audience are primarily not musicological experts but artists, Schumann lovers and interested non-professionals who wish to be well and expertly informed, inspired and delighted.
In our seventh volume, after we had still been able to present Peter Härtling himself to our Journal as an author two years ago, when he kindly allowed us to print the text version of his acceptance speech on the occasion of the conferment of his honorary membership by the Robert Schumann Society in Frankfurt, you will find an obituary of the writer and poet, deceased in 2017, who in his artist novels, dedicated to Schubert, Schumann, Mozart, E.T.A. Hoffmann and, most recently, to Verdi in 2015, has surely created biographical approaches of great density and inner truth. Two joyful occasions were in 2017 the major birthdays of the two world-renowned Schumann researchers Margit L. McCorkle (*28.3.1942, Madison/Tennessee) and Gerd Nauhaus (*28.7.1942, Erfurt), who reached both the age of 75.
“Robert Schumann in Berlin” is the title of a contribution by Theresa Schlegel, which at the same time introduces the Berlin of Schumann’s time, a town which Schumann liked very much and which, still in his last days in Düsseldorf, appeared to him as a place of hope where he could move to. Gerd Nauhaus focused on Clara Schumann’s sojourn in Copenhagen, which is also a substantial prelude to Clara Schumann’s concert tours which I would like to highlight at an exhibition in Bonn in the Clara Schumann Year 2019.
In 2017, there were again two Schumann Forum talks organised as public events, that is, concert talks with – in this instance – artists won as new members of the Schumann Forum in 2017. In spring, Florian Glemser answered Bernhard Hartmann’s question “Do you love Schumann?” at the Schumann House in Bonn, whereas Markus Kreul and Guido Schiefen gave their own responses, accompanied by beautiful music examples, in the late autumn of 2017, again at the Schumann House in Bonn. Both events are available on the Schumann Forum page via the Schumann portal or as videos on YouTube in full length and best quality. We are very pleased to present you now the two artist talks in the journal in printed form and thus also in an English translation.
In 2017, the Project Manager of the Schumann Network, thanks to the great support of the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and its Department of Music, was very happy to see a long-cherished wish come true: The recording of all duets and trios by Robert Schumann plus a selection of further part songs, to be released as a double CD in the course of 2018 by NAXOS which we could win as a cooperation and sales partner. Hans-Georg Eckle has introduced this recording with wonderful words which, of course, had by all means to be included in this year’s Schumann Journal.
As always, we present an ample choice of the new releases of last year up to the beginning of 2018 – many of which with detailed reviews incl. summaries in English –, and we are again thrilled by the wonderful abundance of remarkable CD recordings. Of course, the Journal also presents, as usual, new editions of sheet music and books released during the year under review, including the latest releases from the Schumann Complete Edition and the Schumann Letter Edition. The review of the past year, which had been introduced by the Project Manager of the Schumann Network a few years ago, presents a selection of particularly remarkable events with a Schumann relation or outstanding honours for our Schumann ambassadors, that is, our artists from the Schumann Forum, the Board of Artists of the Schumann Network.
Of course, a short outlook is not missing either and we are extremely pleased to highlight in 2018, apart from the Schumann towns, this year’s composer focus at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival 2018 which will include about 87 events related to Robert Schumann, with the participation of many great artists, some of whom are our Schumann Forum members, such as Sol Gabetta, Sir Andras Schiff, Andreas Staier, Julian Prégardien, Nils Mönkemeyer, Steven Isserlis and Boris Giltburg. Particularly gratifying is also the continuation of the three-day master classes for master students in singing held at the Leopold Mozart Centre of the University of Augsburg, started in 2017 and initiated by our Schumann Forum member and Schumann-ambassador Markus Kreul, which are dedicated intensively to Schumann’s song creations and his preferences for certain poets under the title of “SCHUMANN SYMPOSIUM I-III”. And for 2nd March 2018, Halle Theatre has announced a premiere at the Pushkin House, whose title of “Clara – A Play for Ragna Schirmer & Dolls” already indicates that in the production of Christoph Werner, besides Schumann Forum member Ragna Schirmer at the piano, the exceptional puppeteer Ines Heinrich-Frank will play an important role as Clara Schumann at her last concert.
Separate reviews of and outlooks for their institutions and activities in Zwickau, Dresden and Leipzig have been penned, as in previous years, by Thomas Synofzik, Anita Brückner and Gregor Nowak.
As always, we present the artists who are members of the Schumann Forum, newly established in 2011, whose numbers we have been able to increase year after year, to our great delight. Last but not least, we have, of course, also listed as usual the members and partners of the Schumann Network with their contact details.
Wishing you a lot of joy and inspiration when reading Schumann Journal 7, Your
Ingrid Bodsch & Irmgard Knechtges-Obrecht