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.
David Zinman conducts Tonhalle Zurich.
I have an affinity with Schumann. I have listened to this symphony every spring for many years. I see buds and new blades of grass, feel light breezes…all within the context a dramatic awakening. I can’t say it will be the same for everyone and it may partially consist of resonances in my own mind and knowledge of Schumann’s love of romantic and descriptive nature writing, but my recommendation is to close your eyes and listen very closely.
Supposedly, Schumann wrote this in three days in early 1841, but I don’t know.