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Peter at the Piano: Robert Schumann's "Clara" Theme

October 31, 2018

The gifted pianist and composer, Clara Wieck, also served as muse: first to Robert Schumann, whom she eventually married, and then to Johannes Brahms. Four descending notes, known as Schumann’s “Clara” theme, run through many of his beloved works for piano, including his Romance. Years later, Brahms used these four notes in intermezzi he wrote for Clara as apology for the devastating heartbreak he had caused her. In this fascinating episode, we hear Tippet Rise’s co-founder, Peter Halstead, explore and explain these four gorgeous notes that repeat, and repeat again, through time.

Photo: Erik Petersen