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Robert Schumann:
Music for the Harvest Season

On this week’s Classics for Kids show, music for the harvest — and for fall.

Music heard in this episode:
Schumann: Album for the Young - Happy Farmer
Vivaldi: Four Seasons – Autumn
Glazunov: The Seasons
Debussy: Triumph of Bacchus
Grainger: Harvest Hymn
Thompson: The Plow That Broke the Plains – Cattle
Copland: Red Pony – Morning on the Ranch
Ginastera: Malambo
Tchaikovsky: Seasons - August
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6

Other shows about Robert Schumann:
About Robert Schumann
Clara Schumann
All in the Musical Family

Download this month's activity sheet

About Robert Schumann
6/8/1810 - 7/29/1856
Born in Germany

Robert Schumann's father was an author and book dealer in Zwickau, the German town where Schumann was born. Robert grew up with books all around him, so he fell in love with books and writing. Robert also fell in love with music. As a kid, he took piano, flute and cello lessons, and also started composing.

When he was a teenager, Schumann still wasn’t sure whether he wanted to be a writer or a composer when he grew up. But after heading off to the University of Leipzig to study law, he knew he didn't want to be a lawyer. In Leipzig, Schumann took piano lessons with a teacher named Friedrich Wieck, whose star pupil was his daughter Clara. In spite of the fact that she was nine years younger than he was, Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck fell in love. Clara’s father absolutely refused to let them get married. It took years -- and a court battle with Clara's father -- before Robert and Clara Schumann could finally get married.

The whole year following their wedding, Schumann was so in love that he couldn't stop composing songs. That became known as Schumann's Year of Song. Schumann then went off on a couple of other year-long binges. The next year, he worked on three out of his four numbered symphonies, and the following year was Schumann’s year for chamber music — pieces written for small groups of instruments.

Even though a hand injury kept Schumann from becoming a concert pianist, there was still a famous pianist in the house -- his wife Clara. She gave the first performance of many of his pieces, including his piano concerto. When the Schumanns’ daughter Marie turned seven, her father gave her a small album of piano pieces that he’d written for her. Later, he added to it, and published it as the Album for the Young — 18 pieces for little kids, and 25 more for older ones.

See other composers born in Germany


This Week's Quiz:

1. In Vivaldi's Four Seasons, how does the peasant celebrate the rich harvest?

A Thanksgiving Meal

A Party

Giving Presents

Taking a Nap

Song and Dance

2.Who composed the music for two cowboy ballets?

Leonard Bernstein

Aaron Copland

Virgil Thompson

John Philip Sousa

Alexander Glazunov

3. When is the harvest in Argentina?

December, January and February

September, October, November

June, July and August

March, April, May


Robert Schumann
Album for the Young

Composed in 1848
Performed by
Rico Gulda, piano

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