Jan Willem de Vriend / SSO

Schumann: Complete Symphonies Volume 1 (Download)

Regular price €30,95
Unit price

Jan Willem de Vriend / SSO

Schumann: Complete Symphonies Volume 1 (Download)

Regular price €30,95
Unit price
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Robert Schumann

Complete Symphonies Volume 1

Stavanger Symphony Orchestra / Jan Willem de Vriend

Challenge Classics / HQ|NORTHSTAR 

Catalogue CC72958


Download Booklet PDF



(Low Resolution excerpts)


About the Album

Jan Willem de Vriend: Working with this orchestra is very special, and I think it has to do with a very old tradition. A long time ago, they invited my colleague, Frans Brüggen, just as he was starting to conduct. He learned the orchestra about the old music style, the way of playing in the time of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach—how they played and how you must approach the music. On his part, Brüggen put something in the orchestra that I would say is now part of their DNA: the flexibility, the curiosity, and the way to approach the music. It’s so special, here in Stavanger. Schumann’s music is to me something unique, because what he’s writing is so personal; on one hand it is sometimes very emotional, but on the other hand, it’s technically perfect. In music, I don’t often find those two elements together.

Robert Schumann (1810-56) composed four symphonies. The first one is titled “Spring Symphony,” written during a period Schumann himself characterized as happy (in 1841). A spring-like atmosphere rushes towards us at the beginning of this Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major. The symphony was written in an incredible four weeks. It originally had the headings “The Beginning of Spring – Evening – Joyful Play of Love – Full Spring.” However, Schumann left this aside to create absolute music without commentary. There is no internal development in this work; instead, there are changing moods in each movement. Especially in the third movement, the scherzo, we encounter a “poetic character piece” with contrasting themes: passionate, lyrical, and dancing. The finale can be heard as a hymn to spring.

It was Leonard Bernstein who showed that Robert Schumann’s Second Symphony in C major was not an independent work. Interpreted with urgency, contrasts, and with Bruckner-like mysticism, the work reveals something entirely different. Just listen to how the powerfully shining trumpet theme emerges from the mysteriously murmuring twilight! And it returns again at the end of the movement and at the end of the work. After the brilliant scherzo, there is a slow movement that stands as an emotional centerpiece in the work; it’s a sort of nocturne or a romance that unexpectedly references Bach. The finale also has something unexpected about it, as it twice quotes a theme from Beethoven’s song cycle “To the Distant Beloved”: “So accept them, these songs.”

Arnfinn Bø-Rygg


Album tracks

Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 38

[1] I. Andante poco maestoso - Allegro molto vivace 11:24

[2] II. Larghetto 6:00

[3] III. Scherzo - Molto vivace 5:43

[4] IV. Allegro animato e grazioso 8:15

Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61

[5] I. Sostenuto assai - Allegro ma non troppo 11:57

[6] II. Scherzo - Allegro vivace 7:10

[7] III. Adagio espressivo 7:44

[8] IV. Allegro molto vivace 8:25

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