“A lovely entertainment, flawlessly performed”
THE INDEPENDENT/ WIGMORE HALL/ DECEMBER 2010
The story of the intense relationships between
Robert Schumann, his wife Clara Schumann and
has always fascinated music lovers. This programme
of music and readings brings their history to
life. It chronicles the sometimes troubled marriage
Clara and Robert, the arrival in their household
of the dynamic, 21-year-old Brahms, Robert’s
decline into mental illness and the deepening
relationship between Clara and Brahms, the exact
nature of which
has never been established. Music by all three
is performed by the award-winning pianist Lucy
interspersed with extracts from their letters
and diaries, which are read by two celebrated
Beloved Clara’s creation was inspired by Lucy Parham’s lifelong passion for the music of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Originally compiled from the wealth of existing correspondence between Brahms and the Schumanns by Lucy Parham and Jessica Duchen, Lucy Parham has subsequently updated Beloved Clara with new material and it is also constantly evolving through the many contributions from the actors involved.
Beloved Clara was premiered
at the Wigmore Hall Masters Series in 2002. It
has since been performed
throughout the country in numerous festivals, concert
halls and theatres. Highlights have included the
Chichester, Harrogate and Salisbury Theatres, BAFTA,
Oxford, Rye, North Norfolk Festivals and Chelsea
Festivals, Royal Hall Harrogate, St John’s
Smith Square, Cadogan Hall Celebrity Recital Series,
Kings Place, and both the 2006 and 2010 Schumann
Festivals. Beloved Clara made a critically acclaimed
return to the Wigmore Hall in December 2010.
The international premiere of Beloved Clara took
place at the Bergen International Festival in
June 2007. The US première took place with
a series of concerts in Los Angeles for LA Theatreworks
December 2008. It was broadcast across the USA
on National Public Radio in 2010.
Actors who have appeared with Lucy Parham include
Martin Jarvis, Juliet Stevenson, Jane Asher, Jeremy Irons, Harriet Walter,
Eleanor Bron, Henry Goodman, Edward Fox, Joanna David,
Stanley Townsend, Rosalind Ayres, Gabrielle Drake,
Robert Glenister, Malcolm Sinclair, Christopher Bramwell,
Christopher Cazenove, Timothy West,
Charles Dance,Sebastian Koch, Tim McInnerny, Niamh Cusack and Alex Jennings.
has been widely featured in the Independent, the
Times, the Guardian, BBC Radio 4 (Woman’s
Hour), BBC World Service, Classic FM, BBC Music
Magazine, BBC Radio 3 (In Tune) and Pianist Magazine.
The CD of Beloved Clara, featuring actors Martin
Jarvis and Joanna David, has been released to
critical acclaim by Sanctuary/ASV. It was chosen
of the Week” in the Sunday Times, the Guardian
and the Observer.
Performance of 'Beloved Clara' at St Johnís Smith Square, London, with actors Harriet Walter and Henry Goodman
Click below to listen to an extract from Beloved Clara.
Narrated by Martin Jarvis and Joanna David