Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A good match, pt. 3
FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 09/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Schumann was a German composer of the early nineteenth century. He died young, but not before producing many interesting and stunning works. In his short life, he produced piano works (that for which he is best known, perhaps), choral works, concertos, chamber music, and orchestral works. It is of these latter pieces that these discs are composed:
* Symphony No. 1 in B flat, "Spring", op. 38 (composed in 1841)
* Symphony No. 2 in C, op. 61 (composed in 1846)
* Symphony No. 3 in E flat, "Rhenish", op. 97 (composed in 1850)
* Symphony No. 4 in D minor, op. 120 (first composed in 1841; revised in 1851)
This CD is the third volume of a three-volume compilation of Schumann's symphonies produced by Sir Neville Marriner and the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart.
The first and the last symphonies bear some interesting similarities, as one would expect, but the later revisions were significant enough to warrant considering the ordering as above, with the second composed now considered the fourth symphony. For a long time, Schumann seemed to compartmentalise his composition - in 1840, he seemed to concentrate exclusively on 'songs'; in 1841, he wrote two of the four symphonies. Schumann seemed to need to master each type of music before working on another.
The third symphony, 'Rhenish' (fourth in order of composition), is easy going and occasionally sweet, but the fourth movement has the majesty of Gothic architecture about it. (Only the first and third symphonies have given subtitles.) The fourth symphony (begun, chronologically, as the seconed), the one with the longest timeline of composition, is perhaps the most complex, despite being envisioned somewhat as a symphony-in-one-movement. This took Schumann only a few days to sketch, but continued to be revised and worked on periodically through much of Schumann's later career.
Schumann was a leading light in the German Romantic movement, and this series of recordings of the Radio-Sinfonieorchester under the conductor Neville Marriner is wonderful. Marriner is better known as the conductor of the Academy of St. Martin's in the Fields, but his time with the Stuttgart orchestra was a pairing well matched.