Emilie Reichold (ca. 1810 – after 1835)

The pianist Emilie Reichold came to Leipzig in 1826 to be trained by Friedrich Wieck. As he highly appreciated her skills, he at times had her teach Clara Wieck. Emilie Reichold was also in charge of Clara’s “academic training” (Jugendtagebücher [Youth Diaries], p. 40), and joint concert and theatre visits were part of the music education. Only a few months later, on 19th October 1826, Emilie Reichold appeared for the first time in public at the Gewandhaus concert hall where she also gave more concerts until 1830. In 1828, Robert Schumann judged as follows: “[The Reichold lady developed a lot of grace during her piano playing.]” (Tagebücher [Diaries], Vol. 1, p. 110). She received further training from Friedrich Wieck, in whose house she was accommodated, until 1830. Her repertoire encompassed piano works by, inter alia, Mozart, Beethoven, Czerny, Kalkbrenner, Herz, Ries, Kalliwoda, and Moscheles.

In Clara Wieck’s debut concert at the Leipzig Gewandhaus concert hall on 20th October 1828, Emilie Reichold performed with her, four hands, the Variations by Friedrich Kalkbrenner, Op. 94, on the grand piano of Andreas Stein, which is displayed today at the Robert Schumann House in Zwickau. The nine-year-old Clara Wieck then wrote in her diary: “[It went very well and I did not make any mistakes, there was also a lot of applause]” (Jugendtagebücher, p. 48). Clara Wieck’s first public appearance was thus closely linked to Emilie Reichold.

In 1830, Emilie Reichold married the merchant Gustave Werner (1803-1897) and moved with him to France. Unfortunately, her traces disappeared after that; she visited in Leipzig again in 1835 and Clara Wieck noted in her diary on 22nd October 1835: “[Coming back to Mrs Werner, one would say she has become utterly embittered in Étienne [Saint-Étienne, note by T.S.]” (ibid., p. 198). According to a notice in the music periodical Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung of 14th April 1830 (No. 15., col. 241), Emilie Reichold intended to settle in France as a piano teacher.

Even if Emilie Reichold’s traces and the writing of her diary entry for Clara Wieck had faded, she still left the young pianist a lasting dedication which can be read as a motto of Clara’s life.

“[Never seek recognition of your striving for perfection from the outside world. – Your own feeling for the very beauty and art itself, which can provide you with the most delightful hours in an ideal world, will give you quite some compensation for trivialities.

Leipzig, 2nd January:
1830 Emilie Reichold.]”

(Transcription by Theresa Schlegel)

Cf. Annkatrin Babbe: Article “Reichold, Emilie, verh. Werner”, in: Europäische Instrumentalistinnen des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts. 2010. Online Encyclopaedia of the Sophie Drinker Institute, edited by Freia Hoffmann. Online at: https://www.sophie-drinker-institut.de/reichold-emilie [31.08.2020].

Cf. Clara Wieck, Jugendtagebücher 1827‒1840, edited by Gerd Nauhaus and Nancy B. Reich, with the collaboration of Kristin R.M. Krahe, Hildesheim, 2019, pp. 40 f., 48 f., 606 f.

Cf. Cathleen Köckritz: Friedrich Wieck. Studien zur Biographik und zur Klavierpädagogik, Hildesheim et al., 2007, pp. 127‒129.

Cf. Robert Schumann. Tagebücher. Vol. I: 1827–1838, edited by Gerd Nauhaus, Leipzig, 1971, p. 110.

Diary entry by Emile Reichold, 2nd January 1830, (single sheet, 9.5 x 15.3 cm), Album of Robert and Clara Schumann, Saxon State Library – Dresden State and University Library (call number: Mus.Schu.231), urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-db-id16656233302 [https://digital.slub-dresden.de/werkansicht].

(Theresa Schlegel, 2020, translated by Thomas Henninger, 2020)

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