Schumann in the Archives

Schumann in the Archives

I was very tired yesterday after a challenging day. When I thought about how I could give myself a dose of rest and relaxation, I decided that the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall was just the right prescription.

The BPO’s season opens in a couple of days; but their archives are rich with concerts from previous seasons. So I explored a few of these, and in about two minutes I settled on a concert that had the right ingredients: the concert was conducted by Claudio Abbado; there was music of Schumann, and also a violin concerto. What I selected for my evening’s enjoyment was the Symphony #2 by Robert Schumann from a concert that took place on May 11, 2012.

Schumann was very influential in his day while he lived and worked in Germany. He once wrote an article in a music publication about the music and great promise of Johannes Brahms, and this greatly helped Brahms to launch his career.

I adore the Schumann symphony #2. I played it many years ago, when I was a member of the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra, under Thomas Nee. What a glorious work this is! It has beautiful, lyrical music, with a variety of interplay by a large number of different instruments. There is a huge role for the winds and brass, and a large range of emotions.

My favorite is the 3rd movement titled Adagio. The emotional level of the music is second to none. And the playing by members of the Berlin Philharmonic was exemplary. I captured a lot of images of the BPO players, and I selected two images for your enjoyment, posted at the left.

While I could not locate a recording with Mr. Abbado conducting, here is the Schumann Symphony No. 2 with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker



Now as a bonus, here’s a fascinating video of Herbert von Karajan in Rehearsal of Schumann’s 4th Symphony:


Tags: Robert Schumann, Berlin Philharmonic, Digital Concert Hall, Abbado, Symphony #2

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