Emma Preußer, née von Gutschmid (1817– deceased after 1895)

Emma Preußer had been married to the widowed businessman Gustav Louis Preußer in Leipzig since 1834. The latter was a co-owner of a cotton business and Director of the Leipzig-Dresden Railway Company. In 1856, he moved with his second wife to his manor in Lockwitz near Dresden.

The Preußers are first mentioned in Schumann’s Housekeeping Book in October 1843. The friendly relationship continued even after the departure of the Schumann family: For instance, Clara and Robert were warmly welcomed by the Preußers in February 1850 and in March 1852.

In 1850, during a stay in Leipzig on the occasion of the rehearsals of Genoveva, Clara noted in her diary: “[But it is nowhere as nice as here at the house of the Preußers, where we are staying! We are like in paradise, [...] an early breakfast in the garden, and there are our amiable hosts who read our every wish from our eyes [...].]” The Preußers visited the Schumanns in Düsseldorf in June and August 1851 and also in June 1852.

When Robert Schumann died, Marie and Elise were staying with the Preußers in Lockwitz. Emma Preußer also attended the concert on the occasion of the 50th stage anniversary of Clara Schumann at the Leipzig Gewandhaus concert hall in 1878, something which was happily taken note of by Clara in her diary. The two friends would see each other every now and then, and when Clara came to Leipzig again in 1889 for a concert, her old friend was, of course, present as well.

Clara noted in her diary: “[Emma Preußer came, which pleased me a lot ... So we three old friends (Emma, Livia and I) were together once again, and it will probably have been the last time!]” On her 76th birthday on 13th September 1895, the first birthday greeting came from Emma Preußer, but Clara could not help noticing that she was apparently quite weak already, which made Clara very sad. Emma was one of the few female friends with whom she could share memories of the happy time in Leipzig and her young marriage and with whom Clara had also shared later experiences.

(J.M.N., translated by Th. H.)

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