Open main menu

A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Clauss, Wilhelmine

CLAUSS, Wilhelmine, one of the eminent pianists of our time, daughter of a merchant, born at Prague Dec. 13, 1834. She received her musical education at the Proksch Institute at Prague, and in 1849 made her first concert tour, exciting great attention both at Dresden and Leipsic (1850).Nevertheless, she lived almost unnoticed in Paris for nearly a year, although Berlioz interested himself much in her favour. She announced a concert, but it was postponed on account of her mother's death. Being now a total orphan, she was kindly received by the singer Mme. Ungher-Sabatier, and in the following year her claims were acknowledged in Paris. From thence her fame spread through Europe; she gave concerts in Paris, London, and Germany, receiving everywhere tributes of the warmest admiration. She was in London in 1852, and again in 1871. She married (1857) the author Friedrich Szarvady, and now lives in Paris, seldom appearing in public. Her répertoire mainly consists of the works of Scarlatti, Bach, and Beethoven, and it is upon her execution of these that her great reputation is founded. Her chief gift is the power of penetrating into the spirit of the work she executes; her conscientiousness is great, and she rejects all arbitrary interpretations, no matter how ingenious they may be. In this respect she worthily ranks with Madame Schumann. Still Madame Szarvady has a strong and romantic individuality, which used to be very charming.

[ A. M. ]