CHAPTER 2
University Years

Every man, however brief or inglorious may have been his academical career, must remember with kindness and tenderness the old university comrades and days. The young man's life is just beginning: the boy's leading strings are cut, and he has all the novel delights and dignities of freedom.

—Thackeray, Pendennis

SCHUMANN'S EAGERNESS TO LEAVE ZWICKAU WAS DUE NOT TO the specific attractions of Leipzig, but rather to his yearning for independence and a change of scene. Leipzig—with a population ten times that of Zwickau—provided him with his first extended contact with urban life. It was a bustling, mercantile center, noted for its publishing industry (its book fairs attracted buyers fromall over Europe). Music publishing flourished as well: two of the most prestigious publishers in Europe, Breitkopf & Ha¨rtel and Hofmeister, were located there.

Musical life in Leipzig was unusually rich. The venerable Gewandhaus concerts, created in 1781, were among the earliest and most eminent in Europe. At the time of Schumann's residence in Leipzig, the series comprised twenty concerts per season. Other concert series included the Euterpe (orchestral concerts founded in 1824), as well as a chamber music series featuring the Mattha¨i Quartet. The Thomas-

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