Julius Stockhausen (1826-1906)

Julius Stockhausen (1826 - 1906), steel engraving (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien)
Julius Stockhausen (1826 - 1906), steel engraving (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien)

Clara Schumann met the baritone Julius Stockhausen in the summer of 1854, when Robert had already been taken to Endenich. Already after the first performance, she praised him as "magnificent singer" and "truly gratifying appearance at the heaven of arts." The singer, who was trained in Paris, was one of the first great song interpreters of the 19th Century. He was the first, who presented song cycles of Schubert and Schumann:  in Vienna, Schubert's "Schöne Müllerin" (beautiful miller) in 1854 and 1861 Schumann's Dichterliebe (poet’s love), accompanied on piano by Brahms.

Clara Schumann performed with Stockhausen for the first time Schumann’s "Dichterliebe" (Poet’s Love) on 22 October 1862 in Zurich. On 24 February 1862 she accompanied songs from "Frauenliebe und Leben", on 15 October 1862 "Die schöne Müllerin" (The Beautiful Miller) and on 27 November 1862 "Winterreise" (Winter Journey) in Hamburg. Schumann's "Frauenliebe und Leben" (A Woman’s Love and Life) op. 42, the Eichendorff song cycle op. 39 (along with Clara Schumann for the first time on 7 January 1865 in Berlin) and the Spanish operetta was later premiered entirely by Stockhausen. In the concerts with Clara Schumann and also with other companions the cycles were, however, divided and shorter piano pieces were played between the single parts. Clara Schumann inserted in between the parts of "Dichterliebe" (Poet’s Love) three songs from the Kreisleriana, the "Winterreise" (Winter Journey) was divided into three parts and was filled with compositions by Bach, Scarlatti and Mendelssohn. The interpretation of a song cycle without a break was at that time still unthinkable.

Stockhausen also spoke up for Schumann’s Faust Scenes. In 1862 Ferdinand Hiller wanted to perform only parts of the work in Cologne; Stockhausen telegraphed back "tout ou rien" (all or nothing) and the conductor relented. Thus there was the first complete performance of the little known work by Stockhausen in Cologne as the singer of Faust.

Not only Clara admired Stockhausen’s musicality and voice, but in return he also admired the pianist: "Madame Schumann is one of those rare people for whom I would go to the end of the world ... What an artist!" in a letter to his father in 1856. Thanks to Clara Schumann, he made acquaintance with Brahms and Joachim. In 1859, he performed in London with Clara, who introduced Jenny Lind, Pauline Viardot and Ferdinand Hiller to him. His appointment as music director in Hamburg in 1862 refused Brahms to this position, which hence troubled the friendly relationship to him and Clara Schumann (who wanted Brahms for this position). Brahms dedicated the Romances from Tieck’s Beautiful Magelone op. 33 to Stockhausen, who premiered them in 1862.

Clara Schumann accepted aan appointment at the Dr. Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt in 1878. Soon after that, Stockhausen came as a directive vocal teacher to the same institute. His conflicts with the director Joachim Raff and his departure from Frankfurt had no effect on the collegial and friendly relationship with Clara Schumann. Stockhausen returned shortly after Raff's death to the Conservatory, but short time later he founded his own school of singing.

After their first joint concert on 28 August 1854 in Ostende, where the baritone sang a few songs from Schumann's Eichendorff song cycle, Clara Schumann and Julius Stockhausen performed almost 50 times together on the concert stage. These included frequent concerts in London and Hamburg, but also in Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin and Frankfurt. There, the two musicians performed the last time together on 18 November on the occasion of a Mozart festivity.

(J.M.N., translated by Katharina Ma)

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