Robert Schumann was an eccentric composer and musical critic who influenced the Romantic-era musical community through the formation of the Davidsbündler. This “league of David” was Schumann’s idea of a musical society which exemplified a distinctly pure style of modern musical composition. The style of the Davidsbündler was based on the idea that music must reflect the personal life experiences of its composer. Needing a journal to publish musical writings of Davidsbündler, Schumann created the New Journal for Music. Having himself suffered from mental instability throughout his life, Schumann’s music often displayed unique levels of polarity and passion in order to show his own life experiences. Schumann’s mental polarity and instability was directly showcased in his music through the characteristics of the imaginary Florestan and Eusebius. These characters are clearly displayed through the piano works Carnival and the Davidsbündlertänze. Through the use of modern musical compositional techniques such as chromaticism and syncopation along with clear characterizations of Florestan and Eusebius, the Davidsbündlertänze stands as a testament to the ideals of the Davidsbündler.
Cedarville, music, Stephen White
Dr. Sandra Yang
White, Stephen J., "Fighting the Philistines: Robert Schuman and the Davidsbündler" (2020). B.A. in Music Senior Capstone Projects. 20.
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