Educational, insightful and entertaining.
The first Ears Wide Open of 2020 explores one of Schumann’s richest and most compelling compositions.
Schumann’s second symphony was composed between 1845–46 – an
interesting time of change for the composer, who was suffering numerous
mental and physical ailments. At this time Schumann moved from
piano-based composition to a ‘new way of thinking’ that saw him compose
predominantly in his mind’s ear. The effect of this change was layered
complexity and depth to his works.
The symphony itself begins with a leisurely introduction and simple
fanfare that returns in subsequent movements. The pace of this first
movement picks up, embracing a sense of rebellion and shifting
disposition. Throughout the symphony, allow the Orchestra to take you
through conflicting moods – vehement intensity comes in the second
movement, while an aching third movement caresses the listener with
romantic strings and wind.
Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 demonstrates creative robustness and richness, demarcating an integral turn in Schumann’s career.