Category Archives: Orchestral

Symphony No. 2 in C major — Robert Schumann / BBC Proms conducted by Daniel Harding

Is Daniel Harding a fellow Schumann-phile?  I have thought from early in life that Schumann and I resonated on the soul level.  When Daniel Harding mentions Schumann’s intimacy, he is speaking of what I have always felt.  In fact, it is so personal that I can not adequately put it into words.  I have known many folks who admired Schumann, thought he was a great composer, etc., but they always seemed to me to be not quite resonating with his music as I do; and maybe it is as it will always be.  Schumann may be the most personal composer in my own musical life.  Symphony No. 2 is one of my favorite and most personal pieces of music.  It also carries the life of many years of listening to it.  It always stops me in my tracks.

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 32 — Xaver Scharwenka

From 1879/1880.  Scharwenka was a Prussian pianist and composer.  He was a well-known pianist in the late 19th century.  He was also a music educator and had a music school in Berlin and, for a short while, in New York.

This is a virtuoso piano concerto in the best sense of the word, in my opinion.  It was originally intended to be simply a piano fantasy.