Robert Schumann & Johannes Brahms: Lifelong Vision & Friendship

HONG KONG, 22 October 2015 - A lecture recital was presented by the music faculty of University of Notre Dame, in which Professor Peter H. Smith, Professor of Music and Department Chair, had given a speech on the relationship between Schumann and Brahms in terms of both their lives and musical compositions.

"The bond where Schubert and Brahms had immediately forged was based in part on the artistic vision they shared. In Schumann's words, both composers aspired 'to recall the past and its music with all the energy at our disposal, to draw attention to the ways in which new artistic beauties can find sustenance at a source so pure; and finally to prepare for and help expedite the advent of a new poetic age,' " Professor Smith explained. "During his lifetime, Brahms was considered a conservative composer rather than a bold innovator. To the modern listener, however, his compositions, along to a lesser degree with Schumann's, have come to represent an ideal balance of characteristics drawn from tradition on one hand. Those aspects are more innovative on the other hand, both the conservative and progressive components melding in music that also has an immediate sonic appeal," Professor Smith continued.

Musical examples of two sonatas for violin and piano, one by Schumann and the other by Brahms, were performed live by fellow faculty members Tricia Park (violin) and Daniel Schlosberg (piano) as a demonstration. The lecture recital has engaged the audience to discuss in an academic setting on musical romanticism and offered an insight to the two great composers' innovation.

Video: Watch the complete program (1 hr., 17 min.)