The courtship and marriage of Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck is one of the great love stories in the history of music. Their relationship, embodying all the requisite elements of Romantic fiction, has taken on mythic proportions through its frequent depiction in novels and movies. When the undiscovered musical genius fell for the daughter of his piano instructor in 1834, she was already an internationally renowned concert artist, though only in her mid-teens. Schumann had found his muse, but the lovers’ relationship met severe opposition from Clara’s father and teacher, Friedrich Wieck. They were forced to take the pedagogue to court before they could marry—by then Clara was twenty-one. The musical foundation of the Schumanns’ relationship is frequently overlooked in favor of the novelistic outlines of the couple’s lives. Their marriage was to have a tremendous influence on Robert’s compositional output. It was his beloved’s playing that Schumann heard in his head when he composed for the piano, and he famously wrote that in his music he attempted to “capture Clara in tones.” Clara Schumann, trained by her father in improvisation and music theory, was a talented composer in her own right, and much of the interchange between the lovers took the form of shared musical ideas and motives which reappear in both composers’ works. Thus Clara was not only a muse, but an actual source of thematic material.