Thursday, 13 August 2009

298. Robert Schumann - Symphony no.1, "Spring" (1841)


Title: Schumann, The Symphonies
Performer: Wiener Philharmonic
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Year: 1984
Length: 34 minutes


Ah! I missed a good symphonic work, we haven't had anything remotely approaching it since Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette, which was anything but a typical symphonic work. However with Schumann we return to a slightly more traditional format.

Just because the format is traditional it does mean that it isn't innovative. In fact Schumann is extremely effusive throughout in a way that ends up being pretty uncharacteristic of Symphonic productions. This is a bombastic work where even the slow movement is quite fast.

Schumann captures the idea of Spring and with it growing and exploding life pretty well here, the symphony is well developed and extremely attractive, so much so that you probably already know it by heart, even if you don't realise it.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Although Schumann made some "symphonic attempts" in the autumn of 1840, soon after he married his beloved Clara Wieck, he did not compose the symphony until early 1841. Schumann sketched the symphony in four days from 23 January to 26 January and completed the orchestration within a month by 20 February. The premiere took place under the baton of Felix Mendelssohn on 31 March 1841 in Leipzig. The symphony was warmly received. Until Schumann composed this symphony, he was largely known for his works for the piano and for voice. Clara encouraged him to write symphonic music. The title of "Spring Symphony" was bestowed upon it, according to Clara's diary, because of the Spring poems of Adolph Boettger. However, Schumann himself said he was merely inspired by his Liebesfrühling (spring of love).

Bernstein conducts the finale:

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