After their forced early separation the love between Clara Wieck and Robert flowered both romantically and musically. Pianist Lucy Parham recounts the many ways it enriched them.
The opposition of Clara Wieck's father to Clara's love for Robert Schumann is well known. Pianist Lucy Parham focuses more on Clara as she describes the passionate yearning she had for him, and the fulfilment of married life, which was eventually to produce eight children, of which seven survived. As importantly she also became his muse, inspiring some of his best work, as well as being his greatest advocate. A brilliant pianist she set off with him on numerous concert tours, bringing in much needed income. He, on his part, encouraged her to compose and, despite successive pregnancies and the duties of motherhood, allowed her own musical skills to flourish. She survived him by 40 years continuing to perform his works and ensuring his name did not vanish from musical history. The Essay is illustrated with readings chosen by Lucy Parham, with Gabrielle Drake as Clara and Martin Jarvis as Robert.