Schumann in Berlin

Schumann’s Symphony #2

Yesterday I listened to one of my all time favorite symphonies. It is the Symphony #2 by Robert Schumann, which as captured at the Digital Concert Hall from a live performance by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on May 11th, 2012.

Schumann was an amazing man, a pianist and a composer of chamber music, a piano concerto, four symphonies, and more. Robert Schumann died on the 29th of July, 1856. While all four of his symphonies are played fairly often, the Symphony #2 is of particular meaning to me, because I was a member of an orchestra that performed it back in 1951.

The symphony’s third movement is titled Adagio Espressivo, and the soulful sadness of this music always causes me to sit up and take notice. The title means “In a slow and expressive tempo”. And the entire orchestra — from winds, to strings to brass — get a chance to express this “espressivo” aspect.

Schumann married pianist Clara Wieck, who was a very well-known pianist in her time. And later, after Schumann died in 1856, Clara became a close friend of Johannes Brahms.

The photos at the left show some of the performers of the Berlin Philharmonic, as they played this music.

Here is Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker



And here is an interesting Rehearsal of Herbert von Karajan working on Schumann’s 4th Symphony



Tags: Robert Schumann, Symphony #2, Berlin Philharmonic, Claudio Abbado

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