Thursday 12.9.2019 19.00 Season concert 1, part 1
25/19/11€, Double ticket 40/30/18€ Espoo Cultural Centre
Platinum 2020-2021 Gold 2020-2021
Thursday 12.9.2019 19.00 25/19/11€, Double ticket 40/30/18€ Espoo Cultural Centre
Platinum 2020-2021 Gold 2020-2021

The two opening concerts of the season are purely Romantic. Schumann’s symphonies are heard as close to the original as they can get, with Sir Roger Norrington taking to the podium. The concerts are followed by a programme of chamber music by Clara Schumann, one of the most celebrated pianists of her day, in honour of the 200th anniversary of her birth.

Schumann & Schumann, part 1: Thu 12.9.2019 at 7pm
Schumann & Schumann, part 2: Fri 13.9.2019 at 7pm



Robert Schumannn

Symphony no. 1 in B flat major, ‘Spring Symphony’

Schumann sketched out his début symphony in no less than four days in January 1841 and completed the orchestral score less than a month later. On the last day of March, his close friend Felix Mendelssohn conducted the premiere of the work to an enthusiastic reception in Leipzig.

Schumann’s Symphony in B flat major was inspired by a poem about spring by Adolf Böttger, and Schumann initially gave its movements titles: ‘The Beginning of Spring’, ‘Evening’, ‘Merry Playmates’ and ‘Spring in Full Bloom’. Although he abandoned this idea, the subtitle ‘Spring Symphony’ stuck, and indeed its brisk and buoyant atmosphere well reflects its original inspiration.

Schumann liked to build motif affinity into his symphonies. In the Symphony in B flat major, the brass signal opening the introduction to the first movement acquires the status of a leading motif for the entire work, as it is also the source for the main subject of the fast section of the first movement and the main subject of the slow second movement. The main subject of the Scherzo, on the other hand, is a variant of a motif that emerges towards the end of the slow movement. Schumann extended the form of this movement by adding two contrasting Trio sections, creating a rondo-like overall form of A-B-A-C-A. The Finale is both energetic and light-footed, and Schumann’s original idea of ‘spring in full bloom’ does not seem at all far-fetched.

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Robert Schumann

Symphony no. 2 in C major op. 61

Schumann began sketching his Symphony in C major in December 1845, while he was still recuperating from the nervous breakdown he had suffered in the previous year.
He began scoring the work in February 1846 but did not complete it until October. Schumann’s close friend and trusted conductor Felix Mendelssohn conducted the premiere in Leipzig in November in that year.

The first movement begins with an elegant introduction that betrays the influence of Bach, whom Schumann admired. A brass fanfare is enveloped into a smoothly flowing contrapuntal texture, gaining forward momentum in the latter half of the introduction and eventually leading into the fast main section. This is what Schumann described as a struggle of the spirit, and indeed determination and vitality may be sensed in the music. Unusually, the Scherzo comes next, representing Schumann’s take on Mendelssohn’s brisk scherzo style, with two Trio sections. The slow movement is one of Schumann’s most emotionally charged creations. The main subject presented at the outset dominates the movement so such an extent that the sections between its statements seem little more than transitions.

The heroic battle of mind against matter comes to a head in the Finale, which rolls on with irresistible energy and shatters the traditional sonata form in the process: the exposition leads directly into an extensive, synthesis-like coda. The second subject, so to speak, is a variant of the main subject of the slow movement, and on the very last page the fanfare from the opening of the Symphony recurs, as indeed it did at the end of the first movement and of the Scherzo.

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Afterglow in Tapiola Hall


Chamber music of Clara Schumanna:
Susanne Helasvuo, violin
Janne Aalto, cello
Emil Holmström, piano

Clara Schumann: Pianotrio in G minor op. 17


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