In 1933, violinist Jelly d’Aranyi declared that the spirit of Robert Schumann was urging her to find a concerto that he’d written shortly before his death in 1856. In this episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll describe the discovery of Schumann’s lost violin concerto, as well as a similar case in which a London widow claimed to receive new compositions from 12 dead composers.
We’ll also puzzle over how a man earns $250,000 for going on two cruises.
Sources for our feature on Jelly d’Aranyi and Rosemary Brown:
Joseph Macleod, The Sisters d’Aranyi, 1969.
Erik Palmstierna and Adila Fachiri, Horizons of Immortality, 1938.
Rosemary Brown, Unfinished Symphonies, 1971.
Douglas Martin, “Rosemary Brown, a Friend of Dead Composers, Dies at 85,” New York Times, Dec. 2, 2001.
Michael Steinberg, The Concerto: A Listener’s Guide, 1998.
Nicolas Slonimsky, Slonimsky’s Book of Musical Anecdotes, 1948.
Here’s the Schumann violin concerto played by Frank Peter Zimmermann, and here’s a rather blurry interview with Rosemary Brown, in which she transcribes a composition for Beethoven.
This week’s lateral thinking puzzle is from Jed’s List of Situation Puzzles.
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Many thanks to Doug Ross for the music in this episode.