1844/1864 Petersburg

St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, steel engraving, first half of 19th century (StadtMuseum Bonn)

During her first stay in St. Petersburg, Clara Schumann succeeded well in public and private concerts. The participation of the audience increased and also the concert at court in front of the tsar was entirely successful. The Schumanns made acquaintance with the music-loving brothers Counts Wielhorsky, and the couple Henselt. 20 years later, Clara Schumann performed six times in public and played bigger Schumann cycles as for example the Carnaval and the Symphonical Ètudes, but also his piano concert.

The pianist Anton Rubinstein, who Maynly motivated her to come back to Russia, took good care of his German colleague. Since the 1850s Schumann’s works were regularly performed in Russia; the symphonies, overtures, “Das Paradies and die Peri”, “Nachtlied”, the Manfred music and the chamber music was well-known. Clara Schumann noticed that the Russian audience was very susceptive for Schumann’s music, but the reaction towards herself was very reserved compared to the enthusiasm in 1844. Her interpretation of Schumann was without any doubt outrageous, but the way she interpreted Beethoven was as well as her in the eyes of the critics limited repertoire.

(Jula M. Nauhaus, translated by Katharina Ma)

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