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Clara Schumann
[Four Studies for Piano]



Clara Schumann. [Four Studies for Piano]. Manuscript
Clara Schumann. [Four Studies for Piano]. Manuscript

Clara Schumann was primarily a pianist, but she also composed. Many of her compositions are virtuosic piano works designed to display her ability as a performer, but she also wrote songs, chamber music, and other works. Despite the widespread assumption that women could not become serious composers, most of her works were published, and they generally received favorable reviews. Unfortunately, she stopped composing after her husband’s death in 1856, and her music gradually sank into obscurity. Her achievements as a performer, in contrast, were never forgotten. It was not until the rise of the modern feminist movement in the late 20th century that scholars and musi­cians began to revive her compositions, and she is now recognized as one of the most talented pianist-composers of her era.

In 2009 the Gilmore Music Library acquired this undated manuscript of a set of etudes by Clara Schumann. They are simply finger exercises, not serious creative works, but they provide a unique glimpse of her technique and her pedagogical methods.