Siblings and half siblings of Clara Schumanns
From the marriage of Clara Schumann’s parents, divorced in 1825:
Wieck, Adelheid (1817/18), sister
Wieck, Friedrich Alwin Feodor (1821-1885), brother
Since Clara was at home in the center of attention, her brothers Alwin and Gustav were not supported to the same extent Clara was and were soon leaving home to be on their own. gave Alwin piano lessons when she was 12 years old. He became a violinist and studied with Ferdinand David in Leipzig and moved to Reval in 1843. From 1849 to 1859 he was member of Italian Opera orchestra in St. Petersburg and lived thereafter as a music teacher in Dresden. He strove to spread the teachings of his father, which later led to a break with his half sister, Marie, who held that she is the only one to pass the teaching methods of Friedrich Wieck authentically. Both wrote piano studies according to Wieck's Method. Short before Alwin's death, the two siblings reconciled.
Clara herself spoke up for Alwin at inter alia the piano factory Grotrian-Steinweg in Braunschweig, so that he received a discount when he wanted to buy a new grand piano. She sometimes also spent the summer holidays with him, so also the last before his death. To her friend Rosalie Leser, Clara Schumann wrote in regard of Alwin’s death: "If I had only saw him one more time! My last letter I wrote to him has given him so much joy. Although we rarely saw each other, he was always very attached to me. [...] What saddened me deeply is the fact that Alwin worried himself lately so terribly, because he was not mentioned with a single word in the notes on the occasion of my father’s 100th birthday, even though he committed to spread the methods of our father with untiring diligence and best results."
Wieck, Gustav Robert Anton (1823-1884), brother
Friedrich Wieck also relatively little cared about Gustav, since his primary focus was put on the education of his daughter Clara. Gustav became an instrument maker in and went to Vienna in 1838, where Schumann kept more frequent company with him during his longer stay.
In 1845 Gustav remained in Weimar, but later lived permanently in Vienna, where he also died.
Wieck, Victor (1824/1827), brother
From the marriage of Friedrich Wieck with Clementine Fechner,
the step mother of Clara Schumann:
Wieck, Clemens (1829/1833), half brother
Wieck, Marie (1832-1916), half sister
Marie Wieck was like her older sister trained as a pianist by her father Friedrich Wieck. At the age of five, she took piano lessons with Louis Anger, and then with her father, who kept like previously for Clara, a diary for Marie. There he noted that Marie was "giddy, stupid and lazy [...] like Clara." She was talented like her and had feeling, rhythm and sense of hearing as well. However, Marie was not as talented as Clara. At the age of nine she still had difficulties in reading the music and the gripping of octaves. At the same age Clara already her debuted at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Like Clara Marie also did not attend public school but was taught by private tutors, with a focus on foreign languages. On 20 November 1843, Marie performed for the first time in public at a concert of her half-sister Clara, with whom she played in duet two movements of a sonata by Ignaz Moscheles. The criticism certified a convincing artistic achievement of the 11 year-old. Friedrich Wieck took her on shorter concert tours to Thuringia (Eisenach, Weimar, Germany) and Hesse (Kassel). In Leipzig, she performed several times in the Gewandhaus and celebrated great success. She continued the education with her father, but also began to teach herself, at first, her younger sister Cecilia and in 1847 and her niece Marie Schumann. Friedrich Wieck gave her also vocal lessons and Marie performed in the 1860s as a vocal soloist. She later worked as both a successful singing as well as a piano pedagogue. Her pianistic career led her to many countries of Europe. In1851 she went to Switzerland, in 1855 to Vienna and Italy, in 1864/65 to England and in 1870 and 1879 to Russia and Scandinavia. She thrilled the audience with her piano playing and performed several times together with her half-sister Clara Schumann as well as with Joseph Joachim. In 1857 she was appointed to the court of Hohenzollern chamber virtuosa. She gave her last concerts in December 1914 and January 1915 at the age of 84 in Dresden. Marie Wieck, like Alwin Wieck, spoke up for the dissemination of the teachings of her father and published several writings on teaching practice of Friedrich Wieck. A serious eye disease curtailed her tireless work in her years and led to blindness before her death. Marie Wieck died on 22 November 1916 in Dresden. Despite the recognition of her artistic achievements, she stood in the shadow of her older and more famous half-sister for all of her life. That she was probably a little jealous of her can be gleaned from her memories.
Wieck, Cäcilie (1834-1893), half sister
Clara’s second half sister from the marriage of Friedrich Wieck with Clementine Fercher suffering from insanity since the age of 16.
From the marriage of Clara Schumann’s mother Mariane with Adolph Bargiel:
Bargiel, Woldemar (1828-1897), half brother
Woldemar Bargiel was the first son from the Mariane’s marriage with the piano and singing teacher Adolph Bargiel and was born in Berlin. He early received music lessons and became a student of Siegfried Wilhelm Dehn in Berlin. After Robert Schumann’s recommendation and by the medium of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, he went to the Leipzig Conservatory in 1846, where he continued his education with Moritz Hauptmann, Ignaz Moscheles, Julius Rietz and Niels Wilhelm Gade until 1850. He then worked as a music teacher in Berlin and due to the influence of his famous half-sister and his brother in law he was able to publish several compositions. In 1859 Ferdinand Hiller appointed him as a teacher of piano and theory at the Cologne Conservatory. In 1865 he went to Rotterdam as a conductor and became director of a music school, where he met his wife Hermine Tours and worked until 1874. After that, Joseph Joachim appointed Bargiel as professor at the Berlin Music Academy, where he taught with success and remained until his death on 23 February 1897. He was also friends with Johannes Brahms, with whom he worked together at the Chopin and Schumann complete editions. Schumann appreciated his brother in law and assigned Bargiel with the making of piano reductions of his works. Bargiel admired his sister and his brother in law very much and devoted two compositions to them. His work is little; he wrote orchestral works, chamber music, including three piano trios, string quartets and a string octet, and numerous works for piano for two and four hands. Woldemar Bargiel was a very introverted personality was already forgotten as a composer during his lifetime. He recently was rediscovered again. His niece Eugenie Schumann described him as "the most sensitive one among the musicians, furthermore a person of comprehensive education."
Bargiel, Ernst Amadeus Theodor Eugen (1830 Berlin 1907 Bukarest), half brother
Clara described Eugen Bargiel in July 1842, when he and Woldemar spent the holidays with Schumanns, as sincere and good-natured. He was a merchant and migrated to Romania. Eugen Bargiel was often criticized by his family because of his certain grade of levity, but he was amiable, and his brother Woldemar was attached to him in remembrance of the youth they spent together.
Bargiel, Clementine (1835 Berlin 1869 Johannisbad/Bohemia), half sister
Clementine Bargiel was also very musical and was taught by her mother as her brother Woldemar in piano playing. On the recommendation of Clara Schumann, she lived from autumn 1853 to summer 1858 as general partner of Madame Rodbertus and as piano teacher of her daughter Anna at Jagetzow manor in Jarmen. In July 1859 she went to London, where she taught at the Music Institute of Metcalfe in Hendon (now included to London) until the beginning of 1868. Then she became independent and lived together with her friend Agnes von Bohlen. Clara Schumann gladly gave her lessons, when she was staying in London or Clementine was on vacation in Baden-Baden. She died quickly and unexpectedly on vacation in the presence of her mother and all siblings at the age of 33 years. The family - including Clara Schumann - was severely shocked by her death.
Bargiel, Cäcilie (1831 Berlin 1910 Waldsieversdorf/Brandenburg), half sister
Cäcilie lived together with the mother Mariane until her death in 1872, and took care of the household. She also gave piano lessons and sang in the Singing Academy. She had a special talent for fine handcrafts that her mother gave to Clara Schumann on her birthday. Cäcilie was sickly and in the spring of 1886 she went with her friend Laura Peters to Italy hoping to improve her suffering. Until October 1890, she stayed in Cadenabbia, Rome, Capri and other places.
Clara always had good relations with her half-sister so that they spent summer holidays together. Mariana also visited Clara with her daughters Clementine and Cecilia in Baden-Baden in the 1860s.
A diary entry from Clara on 15 August 1895 says following: "Departure of Cäcilia and Laura [Peters] ... we will miss them very much. Cäcilie was always so nice to me, so attentive, even though she was already so old and really in need of care. If we will see each other again, these were my thoughts when we said goodbye and how sad my heart felt ..."
The last years of her life, Cäcilie Bargiel had to spend in a nursing home in Waldsieversdorf near lake Scharmützel, where she died in 1910.
(Julia M. Nauhaus, translated by Katharina Ma)
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