Robert Schumann and Bonn

Although the young Robert Schumann, who came close to the Rhine in 1830 as a student from Heidelberg, dreamed he "would have drowned in the Rhine", but even though this dream became almost sad reality after his suicide attempt on 27 February 1854 in Düsseldorf, Robert Schumann met the Rhine between Düsseldorf and Bonn just later in his life.

Since fall 1850, he lived with his family in Düsseldorf, where he had assumed the office of the Municipal Music Director. On 15 May 1851, he came to Bonn for the first time caught up with what he missed when he was due to health reasons absent at the erection of the Beethoven monument in 1845: he visits the Beethoven Monument at the Münsterplatz, the birthplace of Beethoven and finally met the music publisher Peter Joseph Simrock in the big publishing house at the market before he continues his journey to Rolandseck.On 19 July 1851 Bonn is a stop, when Schumann and Clara – coming from Düsseldorf – went on board to go to Switzerland. The following year, the summer vacation, which began at the end of June 1852 in Godesberg ended with serious health problems of Schumann, who also on the way back to Düsseldorf on 6 July 1852 still felt "very sick". With discomfort and ill-being also two of Schumann’s stays in Bonn (29/30/31 July and 12/13 November) in 1853 ended. Both times, a stimulating concert evening – the first with a performance of i.a. Schumann’s Opus 116 "Der Königssohn"[The King’s Son], the other was a soiree of Clara in the great hall of the Sternhotel, anteceded.

Completely untroubled was only the first visit of Bonn in 1853, where the two Schumanns the experienced for the first time the listening to the Triple Concerto by Beethoven (23 February 1853). On the second evening, Clara was in the spotlight in a musical soiree with participation of Wasielewski, Walbrül and the brothers Reimers, where she performed the piano quintet and the fantasy pieces for piano and violin of her husband. There was no other cheerful reunion with Bonn anymore.

After his suicide attempt in Düsseldorf, Robert Schumann was brought on 4 March 1854 to the in 1844 opened "institution for mental treatment and care of sick and lunatic" of the physician Franz Richarz in Endenich, near Bonn. The (in 1845 started) "admission-book", reveals that Robert Schumann was the 159th patient and was the second person to be brought there in the year of 1854. The book records as a diagnosis “madness with melancholy”, which was thoroughly a diagnosis for not few patients in Endenich.

The hospital, nowadays Schumannhaus, became the last permanent residence of Robert Schumann, where he condemned by hopeful moments of amazing clarity and at times serene consciousness slowly and finally died on 29 July 1856. Robert Schumann found his eternal peace also in Bonn: He was buried at the Old Cemetery, where he received thanks to the major of Bonn, Leopold Kaufmann, an honorary grave in which 40 years later his in Frankfurt deceased wife Clara was also buried.

(Ingrid Bodsch, translated by Katharina Ma)


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