Der anmutreichen, unschuldsvollen Herrin : Clara Schumann's public personas
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Clara Wieck Schumann sits at a particularly thorny juncture in musicological scholarship, as her career mirrors a period of nineteenth-century transformative social and musical change. The concept of public and private spaces came to be codified, and women's musical interactions, somewhat unsurprisingly, followed suit. In accordance with the now bourgeois concerns for social cultivation and primacy, concert structures were destabilized, programs moved away from an emphasis on miscellany, virtuosity was soundly rejected, and serious musical efforts came to dominate critical inquiry and commentary. The philosophy of Romantic listening hinged on the primacy of absolute, "serious" musics and, similar to the morals of the public bourgeoisie, privileged "masculine" expression. Within these strictures, a female pianist developed into the preeminent symbol for all that was ideal in the public piano recital. Clara Schumann has, for scholars of nineteenth-century music, come to embody the serious music aesthetic: whether it be through her role as interpreter, more homogeneous recital structuring, or allegiance to the goals of transcendental listening, she remains a figure who performed out of duty to her higher, artistic "calling." Nevertheless, scholars have rarely attempted to consider how, in a restrictive gender society, Clara was able to maintain such a successful and highly respected public career. My dissertation seeks to tease out the dynamics of Clara Schumann's reception, in order to elucidate ways she, as a woman, was able to perform in this preeminent public space, and, in fact, embolden (rather than degrade) the ascendancy of the masculine. With a career spanning some 60 years, Clara's 794 German concerts allow us a window into the complex negotiations that permeated her public performances and celebrated personality. For the first time in English translation, Appendix I gives a complete listing of Clara's programming in Germany and Vienna. By considering a wide range of sources--visual images, concert reviews, and programs--I hope to unearth ways that Clara, while challenging the hegemony of the male pianist, nonetheless continued to entrench the mores of the musical masculine to an even greater degree.