Eye contacts with Robert Schumann – Encounters in today’s Leipzig

[Hans Joachim Köhler]


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Leipzig in 1828. Robert Schumann arrives as eighteen-year-old student in the city and takes apartment in the »Plauischer Hof«. That hostelry is frequented by carters from Plauen and Zwickau, but also by students. It recalls Schumann of his birthplace and at the same time opens the view into his new surroundings, where the future composer lingers over 16 years and goes through many metamorphoses as an artist: He sees the market-place, the townhall, the Romanushaus, and he emotionally balances between academic dignity and being guideless, between the pride to let emerge the inner, real man and the first oppressive impression that Leipzig was a vile backwater where the money makes rapid progress, more than one could do in colleges and lecture halls.

Leipzig today. We walk through the town and often forget that all the visible also has perspectives into a deeply rooted past. It is authenticity that attracts us first – in the case of Robert Schumann the house in the Inselstraße, the marriage-church in Leipzig-Schönefeld, and the Schumann-corner in the »Kaffeebaum«. But traces of former presence take the knowing spectator into one’s confidence – hidden in locations, viewing directions, ties to historical persons, buildings, and sceneries – if biographical backgrounds speak to us. Thus, past can be experienced in the present. Layers of time are open and connected with the individuality of the viewer – the place gets an aura, and today’s observers discover the authentic, open themselves to its attraction.

The author, born in Leipzig himself and connoisseur of Schumann’s life and work, has recorded his search for traces in texts and images. This guide helps the enthusiasts of Leipzig and of Robert Schumann’s music in breaking through temporal and spatial bounds.

2014, 160 pages, softcover, many coloured illustrations, 12 x 21 cm;
ISBN: 978-3-938533-54-3

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Weight 0.7 kg

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