Schumann has done only few private trips, but the plasticity with which he – and Clara, too – depicts them offers a fascinating charm. We limit ourselves to two tours. The first – about a year after the marriage in 1840 – leads the young artist couple to the Saxon Switzerland. The personal liberation of both partners from the forced retirement imposed by Friedrich Wieck unleashed incomparable creative potentials, but meant more work and a sense of responsibility, too. Thus in the early autumn of 1841 not only a break was needed, but even the readjustment of the conjugal roles, which is why the young people seek to find their place anew in a natural environment and in an as relaxed as possible encounter with other people. The tour on the newly established »Malerweg« is cumbersome careless and gives them the necessary inspiration and freedom. The Bastei, the cowshed and the Königstein are the highlights.
At the end of the Leipzig-time – 1844 – Schumanns travel to the Harz Mountains. The productive marriage reaches a climax, and is plunged into a crisis at the same time. Robert, who burdens Clara as housewife and mother, sees his self-evident dominance as the creative partner against the interpreter falter. The strenuous tour touches, among other, Blankenburg, the culturally rich town of Ballenstedt, the medieval castle Falkenstein, the oppressive cave Baumannshöhle. The hike on Clara’s 25th birthday follows in the footsteps of Goethe and Heine and becomes a dramatic staging. The journey does not solve anything, it clarifies in a rather frightening-ridiculous way.
We have reconstructed and documented the journeys, and therefore the visited points and sites can be experienced in their temporal dimension: as places that left traces in the life and work of Robert and Clara Schumann and which today – in the literal sense – can provide access to both.
2018, 128 pages, softcover, many coloured illustrations, 12 x 21 cm;