SCHUMANN Overture, Scherzo and Finale
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
SCHUMANN Symphony No 4
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Maria João Pires piano
London Symphony Orchestra
Three works from the happiest time of Robert Schumann's life – his marriage to pianist Clara Wieck, his inspiration and muse.
Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale was originally conceived as a symphony, or 'symphonette' as he liked to call it, but having no slow movement he eventually republished it as this three-movement work.
The Piano Concerto, too, began life as a different work, a Fantasy written for his beloved Clara. Their love is evident in the music, Clara herself noting ‘the piano is interwoven with the orchestra in the most delicate way — one can't imagine the one without the other’.
The Fourth Symphony was also revised by Schumann after the unsuccessful premiere. However, in the face of opposition from Clara, Brahms later revived the original version, presented in this concert, which he considered lighter and more transparent in texture.