Clara Schumann at Somerville College Oxford - Valerie Mendes
page-template-default,page,page-id-1996,page-child,parent-pageid-357,bridge-core-2.3.5,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,footer_responsive_adv,transparent_content,qode-theme-ver-22.1,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_top,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.8.0,vc_responsive

Clara Schumann at Somerville College Oxford

Clara Schumann at Somerville College Oxford

Saturday 7 May 2022

Behind their door the College basks beneath the sun of spring:
Inside the whitewashed Chapel sit its audience. The ring
Of Clara Schumann’s brilliance fills listening minds and hearts
For we are Somerville reborn and so today we start

To celebrate her genius. The Pipes of Pan now bring
The solid depth of cello’s voice, its brave and lovely string
The flute’s insistent thrilling while the melody’s high call
Resounds, rebounds, accentuates a never-dying fall.

We gather to remember as the clocks spell after noon
And Clara’s special vision spills her magic through the Room:
It’s been one hundred years and more as, sanctuary and cave,
It waited for the guns of war to silence. Now we brave –

The elderly and middle-aged, the young, the strong, the fierce –
Take up the cudgels of today with fortitude to pierce
The poison in the Putin dart that we shall not allow
To sully or to silence determination’s vow.

Behind the door the College basks under the noonday sun
We music make at Somerville to spite the evil gun
For we who conquer Covid and whose spirits still live on
Can fight with tooth and claw to sing our Somervillian Song.

With gratitude to the Somerville-Keble Orchestra’s student musicians,
to their Soloist, Mat Umbert Kimura, and their Conductor, Ben Giblin.
They played to perfection a chamber music ensemble, followed by
Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, opus 7.