Andersen, Hans Christian
Steel engraving, around 1850
Clara Schumann met Andersen on her concert tour in the spring of 1842 in Copenhagen and described him as "the ugliest man ever", but as "spirited appearance." Robert Schumann at that time had already set four poems by the Danish author, presented in the German translation by Adalbert von Chamisso, to music (Op 40/1-4) and read, in spring and summer 1842, the novels "Der Improvisator” (The Improviser) and "Nur ein Geiger” (Only a Fiddler) and also the the travel experiences "Eines Dichters Bazar” (A Poet's Bazaar)", which were also already available in German, as well as the first complete edition of Andersen appeared in Germany. In 1844, Schumann and Andersen met personally for the first time at a dinner that Livia Frege had organized on 22 July in Leipzig in honor of Andersen.
Contrary to the assumption of Schumanns that Andersen was "quite indifferent" of the musical delights of this evening, his autobiography ("Fairytales of my life") states that he highly appreciated the presentation of his songs (set to music by Schumann) by the landlady, who was accompanied by Clara Schumann on the piano. Andersen was like the Schumanns also a close friend of the couple Serre. (I.B.)
Translation: Katharina Ma
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