Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The two faces of Robert Schumann

Today is the feast day of St. Eusebius. That is a name that I used to think Schumann made up. Because Schumann had those two dual personalities, Florestan and Eusebius.

Then I found out Eusebius was a real name. The way I found out was, I came into possession of some hoary old volume of music, and the editor's name was Eusebius something or other. Ha, ha! If you did not know a real Eusebius existed that is a great way to find out.

But Eusebius was a saint who was persecuted and died in exile. That is the man himself up above! There was also a Pope Eusebius who was a saint from the fourth century. His feast day is in September.

So many Eusebii, so little time! I took Latin so I know it is one Eusebius, two Eusebii.

Was Schumann a Gemini, with these two personalities? Let me check. Yes indeedy he is. He is June 8. I am June 1. We are exactly a week apart.

How come scholars have not made more out of Schumann being a Gemini? I mean, I know astrology is only entertainment and hokum but this is a classic.

You can hear Schumann's two personalities throughout "Carnaval." And this is nifty -- you can listen in on a piano lesson about "Carnaval" with Andre-Michel Schub. Free piano lesson from Andre-Michel Schub! I am in. I interviewed Mr. Schub once and I loved him. When I mentioned I played the piano he asked what I was playing! Only two pianists, I think, have done that in the course of my career. One was Andre-Michel Schub and the other was Harry Connick Jr.

Schub sings and all the people who write comments are giggling about that. He is a bit of a dual personality himself when you think about it, you know? "Andre-Michel" is so French and "Schub" is so German. No word on whether he is a Gemini like Robert Schumann and me. Anybody know?

Meanwhile, what a cute lesson. It makes me want to find time to practice "Carnaval," work it back up.

But first I have to figure out what to name my two personalities.

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