1842 was a year of plenty for Robert Schumann. Two years earlier he had married his great love Clara Wieck, against his father’s will. She would give him eight children, of which the first was now one year. He devoted most of the year to the writing of chamber music, and all with a light, cheerful character. The piano quartet in Es major is probably the best known of these works.
The woman that made Robert so happy, Clara, became a central figure in European music until long after her husband had died. She fought musical battles with Wagner and Liszt and managed a busy schedule of performances all over the continent. She was also a composer in her own right. You might think the attention to these works is a recent development, but already in 1989 she got the honour of decorating the 100 DM banknote, to stay there until the change into the Euro in 2002.