No musician has received such inconsistent coverage as Clara Schumann, who was born as Clara Wieck on September 13, 1819, in Leipzig. Some portray her as a tough woman incapable of love and describe her marriage as unhappy. Indeed, several quotes suggest little happiness. She wrote to her husband Robert: “I would love to compose, but I cannot compose here at all… I always console myself with the fact that I am a woman, and they were not born to compose.” But there are also the cheerful and self-confident quotes: “I won’t abandon my art; I would have to reproach myself for eternity.” Or: “The practice of art is a large part of my being; it is the air in which I breathe.” They, in turn, allow the interpretation of a modern woman who was far ahead of her time.
The film sets out to trace the life of an artist who, despite the significant hurdles of her time, became a superstar. Throughout Europe, she was celebrated as a pianist and received many honors. Her husband often had the feeling that he had to struggle for recognition. When he accompanied Clara on a concert tour to Russia, he was supposedly asked: “And you? What do you do? Do you also have something to do with music?”
The film’s narrative line features the various places where Clara lived and the metropolises she traveled to as a pianist. In addition to her native Leipzig, the documentary is being filmed in Dresden, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Baden-Baden, Frankfurt, Vienna and London. In these cities, we meet musicians such as Ragna Schirmer (Leipzig), Steven Isserlis and Isata Kanneh-Mason (London), Katharina Konradi and Eric Schneider as well as the biographers and musicologists Ingrid Bodsch (Düsseldorf), Thomas Synfzik (Zwickau) and Klaralinda MaKircher (Vienna). All of them have already been intensively involved with the music and biography of Clara Schumann. In conversations at home, in rehearsal rooms and concert halls, or in the cafés of European cities, they consolidate Clara’s image into a kaleidoscopic whole.
Little by little, the portrait of a highly sensitive and self-confident woman emerges, in whose life the 19th century is reflected in every detail — a diverse film with rarely heard music and surprising insights.
|Directed by:||Andreas Morell & Magdalena Zieba-Schwind
|Produced by:||Günter Atteln|
|A production of:||Accentus Music|
|Format:||Full HD 16:9|