1861 ff., 1873 Brussels

Brüssel
Brussels, steel engraving , aroand 1850 (StadtMuseum Bonn)

In 1861, Clara Schumann made ​​a first successful tour to Belgium, which of course led her to Brussels, where she enravished the audience "with good music [...] the greatest enthusiasm". She became friends, especially with Ferdinand and Christine Kufferath, with whom she stayed closely connected until her death. Ferdinand Kufferath came from a musical family, and the Schumanns got to know him in Leipzig as a talented pianist and composer. Since 1844 Kufferath worked as piano and composing teacher in Brussels, conducted a men's choir and launched a series of chamber concerts. He is attributed the merit, to have introduced Schumann’s music in Belgium. In 1861 Clara Schumann has performed hours with him and was very sad to leave Brussels, where she gave four very successful concerts. The following year she gave concert in Brussels, coming back from a tour to Paris, here as there together with Pauline Viardot. She performed with her Schumann's Andante and Variations for two pianos op. 46.

Brüssel, Place royale
Brussels, Royal palace, around 1850 (StadtMuseum Bonn)

In March 1863 Clara Schumann, following her final concert tour in Paris, stopped by in Brussels agaom and offered compositions by Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, Handel, Chopin and Mendelssohn to the Belgian audience. Five years later, Clara Schumann gave three concerts in Brussels, two in January and one in April - on the way to and back from England. All of them were a great success and led to the reunion with the family Kufferath. One last time, in 1837, Clara Schumann performed in Brussels after her 11th tour to England. She first appeared in a concert with orchestra and played Beethoven's Piano concerto in G major, op. 58. Schumann’s 2nd Symphony in C major op. 61 was also performed. The second presentation provided a chamber concert, including Schumann's Piano Quintet op. 44 and Schumann's compositions, such as a shorter Novelette, a canon from op. 56 and “Traumwirren” (dream turmoil) from op. 12. Although Clara Schumann gave no further concerts in Brussels, so stayed in close contact with her friends Kufferath, stopped over on her way to or from England or met them in Frankfurt. In the singing career of daughter Antonia (later married Speyer) Clara Schumann was highly interested.


(Julia M. Nauhaus, translated by Katharina Ma)


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