Franz Grillparzer (1805-1868)

Woodcut illustration by W. A. from the magazine "Leipziger Illustrirte Zeitung" on the occasion of the granting of an honorary doctorate by the University of Leipzig, 1859 (StadtMuseum Bonn, Inventory No.: SMB 2006/184)

In January 1838, the Austrian writer Franz Grillparzer composed the poem Clara Wieck und Beethoven [Clara Wieck and Beethoven] for the successful pianist during her stay in Vienna, which Schumann, in a letter to his young girlfriend, perceived as the most beautiful poem ever written about her and which could well be of use to her future career. Still in the same month, Schumann also published this poem in his Neue Zeitschrift für Musik [New Journal for Music]. It was also entered in Schumann’s Dichtergarten [Poet’s Garden]. In November 1838, a personal encounter between Schumann and Grillparzer took place during Schumann’s stay in Vienna. The study of Grillparzer’s works was further noted both in Schumann’s diaries (Der Traum ein Leben [The Dream, aLife] and Ein treuer Diener [A Faithful Servant]) and in his reading booklet (Lektürebüchlein) (König Ottokar [King Ottokar] and Der Diener des Herren [The Master’s Servant]).

Sigrid Lange, translated by Thomas Henninger

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