Reconstruction of Clara Schumann’s concert performances

In 1858 Sir Charles Hallé formed the “Monday & Saturday Popular Concerts” at the new St. James’ Hall in London. Initially, the months of May and June were reserved for keyboard recitals, and Clara Schumann (née Wieck) was invited regularly to perform at these events.

From 1856 to 1888 Clara returned to perform at Crystal Palace Hall and later at St James’s Hall in London on a regular basis. She created imaginative, thrilling concert programmes designed to meet the growing demand for chamber music. She was joined by the greatest artists of the time to perform music ranging from orchestral and operatic repertoire, to more intimate chamber works. In her concert performances, spanning a lifetime, Clara Wieck revived long forgotten music by the masters of the past, and increased the standing of contemporary composers, in particular that of her own husband, Robert Schumann.

150 years later, through detailed research, Sharona Joshua, and her ensemble, Concerto Cristofori, recreate the actual concert programmes that were performed by Clara herself. The ensemble takes pride in reintroducing prevalent playing and singing techniques of her era, and uses historical instruments, including an original 1853 Pleyel (a type of piano played frequently by Clara Schumann), to help demonstrate these techniques. These concert performances, which also include relevant readings from Clara’s own letters and diaries, present a rare, unique and illuminating experience for audiences today.


PROGRAMME

SONATA Op.31 No.3 – Beethoven

‘FLÜTENREICHER EBRO’, Ohvp.38 No.5 – Schumann

FRÜHLINGSLIED,Op.62 No.6 – Mendelssohn

DAVIDSBÜNDLERTÄNZE Op.6 – Schumann

‘VON EWIGER LIEBE’, Op.43 No.1 – Brahms

ITALIAN CONCERTO, BWV.971 – Bach

‘DIE LIEBE FARBE’, Die Schöne Müllerin, D.795 – Schubert

‘DIE BÖSE FARBE’, Die Schöne Müllerin, D.795 – Schubert

PRELUDE in E minor, from Prelude & Fugue, Op.35 – Mendelssohn

NOCTURNE in G minor, Op.15 – Chopin

IMPROMPTU in C♯ minor, Op.66 – Chopin