Music and Vision homepage


<<  -- 4 --  Jennifer Paull    A SLEEPING BEAUTY


Schumann's life had been the quintessence of Romantic idealism. The struggle against the inner solitude of depression, the refuge sought in alcohol; the deterioration of mental health followed by tragic death in an asylum; all these belonged to the past. The impetuosity of Florestan, the rationalism of Raro, and the dreams of Eusebius in Schumann's writings and compositions, lay mute. Even his Violin Concerto was to be condemned like Sleeping Beauty, for one hundred years.

Clara had given the manuscript to Joachim at her husband's death. Upon his own in 1907, it was transferred from the Berlin Conservatory, where Joachim had been appointed director in 1869, to the Berlin State Library. Its kiss of life came under the most mysterious of circumstances during the 1930s.

Baron Erik Palmstierna published his book Horizons of Immortality in 1937. He told of 'a detailed account of spirit messages ... conveyed to Jelly d'Aranyi expressing Schumann's personal wish that this Concerto should be produced.'

Jelly d'Aranyi (1895-1966) was a brilliant concert violinist and friend of Sir Edward Elgar. She it was who instigated the seances of spiritualism which appear to have been instrumental in rediscovering the 'lost' work. She also obtained valuable assistance and encouragement from her professional contacts. Several avenues of research interwove to enable her to locate the manuscript, overcome the publishing ban, and finally secure the first performance. This too was about to meet with further obstacles.

Continue >>

Copyright © 1 March 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland





 << Music & Vision home           Gilbert and Sullivan >>