Kindred Souls, Worlds Apart:A Comparison of the Lives of Nannerl Mozart and Clara Wieck Schumann in the Age of Enlightenment

Fort Lewis College

  • Caitlin Martinac
  • Kerry Ginger, Dr.

Abstract

Two women spanning the Classical and Romantic epochs of music in Austria and
Germany experienced remarkably different sides of the same performance culture. Maria
Anna (“Nannerl”) Mozart (1751-1829) studied side by side with her brother, but upon
reaching a marriageable age, her father forbade her to perform in public. Familial and
societal expectations silenced the blossoming young musician. Clara Wieck Schumann
(1819-1896) was a child prodigy who became a successful touring artist, composer,
editor, teacher, and mother, but chose to devote herself to promoting her husband’s works
in exchange for her compositional silence. Societal views of women in the Enlightenment
and Romantic eras were rather limiting to their careers as musicians and composers in
favor of their male kin, yet both Clara and Nannerl were both successful mothers and
esteemed pianists in their respective genres. Clara reigned as a “priestess of art” in the
concert hall and Nannerl thrived as an absolute marvel in the music salon. Nannerl
Mozart and Clara Wieck Schumann were kindred souls, worlds apart and their legacies
have a profound and lasting effect on aspiring female musicians today.

Published
Nov 13, 2017
How to Cite
MARTINAC, Caitlin; GINGER, Kerry. Kindred Souls, Worlds Apart:A Comparison of the Lives of Nannerl Mozart and Clara Wieck Schumann in the Age of Enlightenment. Metamorphosis, [S.l.], nov. 2017. Available at: <http://metamorphosis.coplac.org/index.php/metamorphosis/article/view/74>. Date accessed: 20 nov. 2017.
Section
Arts