Hermann Härtel (1803–1875)
Hermann Härtel (1803-1875), together with his brother Raymund (1810-1888), ran the Leipzig publishing house Breitkopf & Härtel from 1835, with which Robert Schumann maintained a lively exchange as an editor of Neue Zeitschrift für Musik [New Journal of Music] and as a composer. Furthermore, Hermann Härtel was a member of the Directorate of the Gewandhaus concert hall in Leipzig and a co-founder of the Bach Society.
Clara Schumann was in contact with Härtel over the years not only in connection with business matters, such as the publication of her own works, the organisation of concerts, the provision of suitable instruments, or the dispatch of sheet music. She also maintained contact with Härtel as a friend in relation to private matters. Particularly in the period when Robert was in Endenich, she approached Härtel several times, or sought his advice on issues of upbringing relating to her sons after Schumann’s passing.
Between 1879 and 1893, Clara Schumann published a Critical Complete Edition of Robert Schumann’s works with Breitkopf & Härtel, assisted by Joseph Joachim, Johannes Brahms, and others (amongst whom Woldemar Bargiel and Hermann Levi) on musical and organisational issues.
Richard Schöne (1840-1922), the husband of two daughters of Hermann Härtel – after a one-year marriage with Cäcilie Härtel (1842-1870) who passed away after the birth of their son Hermann, Schöne married Cäcilie’s sister Helene (1844-1928) after her divorce from the publisher Albrecht Wigand - and the Director of the Royal Museums in Berlin, supported Clara Schumann at the end of 1880s to sell Robert Schumann’s estate to the Royal Library in Berlin. Moreover, he tried to secure a teaching position for Clara Schumann at the Royal Conservatoire in Berlin, which, however, did not materialise.
Cf. Helmut Loos: “Clara Schumann als Editorin”, in: Robert und Clara Schumann und die nationalen Musikkulturen des 19. Jahrhunderts, edited by Matthias Wendt, Mainz, 2005 (= Schumann-Forschungen 9), pp. 109–122.
Cf. Schumann-Briefedition, Series III, Vol. 9: Verlegerbriefwechsel (Briefwechsel Clara Schumanns mit dem Verlag Breitkopf & Härtel 1856 bis 1895), editorial direction Thomas Synofzik and Michael Heinemann, edited by Michael Heinemann, Cologne, 2019, pp. 12–13, 31–33.
Cf. Monica Steegmann: “… daß Gott mir ein Talent geschenkt”. Clara Schumanns Briefe an Hermann Härtel und Richard und Helene Schöne, Darmstadt, 1998, pp. 7–12.
(Theresa Schlegel, 2020, translated by Th. Henninger)
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