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On 17th February 2020 we successfully raised £7,460 with 107 supporters in 34 days

Help raise £7000 to make a recording illuminating the life of Clara Schumann, a unique woman artist in the 19th Century. Proceeds to MIND.

by Sandra Porter & Graeme McNaught in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

All proceeds from sales and income over the recording cost will go directly to the charity MIND.

About Sandra and Graeme

Graeme and I have a longstanding recital partnership and really enjoy exploring new and varied repertoire and styles. Believing that contemporary music is an important part of that we commissioned two artists we admire, writer Janice Galloway and composer Sally Beamish, to write a substantial new work for us that could be performed as part of a recital programme. 

The Commission

What they came up with was the brilliant idea of making a pairing with Robert Schumann's "Frauenliebe und Leben". This is such a famous work that every singer and pianist will want to tackle it at some point in their careers. The sentiment of the text by Chamisso strikes people as dated nowadays, but nonetheless they are the most beautiful songs. Inspired by the Schumann song cycle, Sally and Janice created 'Clara', a wonderful work in which Clara Schumann's life unfolds in a soliloquy brimming with drama and heart stopping tenderness. From a childhood controlled by a dictatorial father, Clara went on to marry Robert. 

Robert Schumann was a troubled man of genius whose suicide attempt led to his early death in an asylum which could offer little hope. Left to pick up the pieces, Clara, who bore him 8 children, became the foremost piano virtuosa of her time and outlived him by 40 years.

Charity Partner

Treatment of mental illness has thankfully developed since the brutality and isolation of so-called cures of the 19th century. We are moving forward but slowly and more needs to be understood and done. Promoting mental health in all its forms is one of the most urgent causes of our time.

 With your support this recording will be a culmination of several of our 'Clara' concerts celebrating her 200th Birthday in 2019. Please help if you can by subscribing to the following link. All profits will go, with gratitude for all that they do, to the charity MIND.

The Recording

David Murphy, director of First Hand Records, has worked for Gramophone Magazine, Naxos Records, Select Music & Video Distribution, Tower Records, and K&A Productions. Several FHR titles have been selected as:

  • Diapason D’OR
  • Gramophone Choice/Reissue of the Month
  • Musicweb-International CD of the Month
  • Best Reissue/Vintage Recording by International Piano Magazine.  

Recent reviews:

  •  “recommended? Indeed… from the always enterprising First Hand Records”- Arcana.
  • “An outstanding set from First Hand Records” (International Record Review)
  • 5-star reviews in BBC Music Magazine.

You can hear audio and video samples on Sandra's website.

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This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

£20 CD Reward

A free copy of the Clara recital programme on CD

£25 or more

£20 CD Reward Plus International Postage

For Supporters not located in the UK: a free CD sent by international postage

£50 or more

£50 VIP CD Reward

Your name printed in the Clara CD booklet, with our grateful thanks, plus a free copy of the CD

£1,000 or more

£1000 Exclusive Recital Reward

We will arrange to bring a special personal performance of Clara to your own home or other suitable venue! Plus a free Clara CD. Sandra and Graeme can modify the programme to suit your tastes. We'll need a reasonable period of notice to find a mutually convenient date that can fit with our schedules and your own, of course. A quality piano in good playing order would also be a must.

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