Frauenliebe und Leben
"Nevertheless, the process of emancipation of the female proceeds only under ecstatic convulsions. Love – tragedy." With these words Richard Wagner's writing "On the Feminine in the Human" from the last days before his death in February 1883 suddenly breaks off. The title of the problematic fragment lends its theme to the Heidelberg Lectures on Cultural Theory in the summer semester of 2023. Anyone who wants to discover the "transformations of the gender image" in the art song will certainly not be able to avoid Robert Schumann's "Frauenliebe und Leben". The cycle from his song year 1840 – in September the 30-year-old can finally marry Clara Wieck – depicts in eight songs the joys and sorrows of a loving wife and mother. The path leads from the first meeting with the beloved, through the wedding feast, to the death of the husband, whereby the composer left unsaid the conciliatory outlook on the marriage of the granddaughter envisaged by Adelbert von Chamisso. While the cycle was particularly popular in the 19th century, the devotion of the wife, humbly fixated on the "most glorious of all," is rather embarrassing today – especially in light of
the urgency and formal mastery of Schumann's settings. Julia Kleiter and Gerold Huber, whose CD recording of "Frauenliebe" as part of Christian Gerhaher's Schumann edition was acclaimed by the press, combines Schumann's Opus 42 with a delightful selection of thematically related songs, including five of the Wilhelm Meister songs from 98a, in which Mignon, the Harfner and Philine take turns.
At the beginning of the concert:
Introduction by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dieter Borchmeyer
Concert without intermission
Duration approx. 75 min