"Zinman's reading of the 'Spring' Symphony is the finest moment in his cycle." —Fanfare
In their third release for Telarc, Maestro David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony present a pairing of two symphonies that creates a rich variety of orchestral expression for the listener. Symphony No. 1 exhibits a masterful combination of lyricism and passion, while the Fourth Symphony remains one of the most original compositions of the Romantic Era. In it, Schumann linked all the movements together without pause to produce a striking sense of unification.
Schumann had originally given characteristic titles to the movements of his First Symphony, which he thought of from the outset as a "Spring Symphony." He suppressed them in the end, however, for fear of creating expectations that his symphony was simply a work of scene-painting.
The First Symphony is comprised of four movements. The opening movement presents two themes, the first appearing in the slow introduction and then developing in the Allegro molto vivace section. The lyrical second movement does not come to a formal ending, but rather segues into the Scherzo. The contrasting Finale displays a striking rhythm and dancelike themes to bring the work to a rousing finish.
Although numbered fourth, the Symphony in D minor was actually the second to be written. Its publication was delayed ten years by revisions that Schumann considered necessary in order to make it accessible to the public, who had given it a cold reception at its premiere in 1841. Because of Schumann’s striking experiments with symphonic unification, the Fourth Symphony is today considered today to be one of the most important contributions to the genre in the Romantic era.
Robert Schumann is known to many classical music listeners for his evocative songs and piano works in which emotions are so finely distilled that they communicate immediately to the audience. This recording demonstrates how he brought the same eloquence to his large orchestral compositions.