University of Wisconsin Oshkosh senior Molly Hennig, of New Ulm, Minnesota, earned a summer grant from the Office of Student Research and Creative Activity to delve into the history, psychology and performance of Robert Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42.
Schumann wrote the song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben in 1840, right before he was married to his wife Clara. Hennig’s research revolves around Schumann’s life and emotions while he was writing the piece.
“I believe (Schumann), maybe even unintentionally, reflected a lot of his worries, hopes and fears for his married life with Clara in this series of poems set to music,” Hennig said.
Earning a summer grant from OSRCA allowed Molly to perform in-depth research on the song cycle and learn how to perform it accurately.
“I wanted to do something bigger and more intense for my senior recital,” Hennig said. “It gave me the opportunity to focus in on a piece of music like I haven’t been able to before.”