Classic 107 - Winnipeg's classical and jazz radio station.

Each day part will feature one of Schumann's four symphonies, in honour of his 207th birthday!

One of the great composers of the nineteenth century, Robert Schumann was the quintessential artist whose life and work embody the idea of Romanticism in music Schumann was uncomfortable with larger musical forms, such as the symphony and the concerto, expressing the full range of his lyrical genius in songs and short pieces for piano. Schumann's extraordinary ability to translate profound, delicate -- and sometimes fleeting -- states of the soul is exemplified by works such as the song cycle Dichterliebe (A Poet's Love), and his brilliant collections of short piano pieces, including Phantasiestücke (Fantastic Pieces), Kinderszenen (Scenes form Childhood), and Waldszenen (Forest Scenes). In his songs, as critics have remarked, Schumann attained the elusive union of music and poetry which Romantic poets and musicians defined as the ultimate goal of art.

He did, however, complete four symphonies (and a fifth that remained unfinished), and although they are far from being his most famous works, they do contain drama, lyricism and some sweeping moments of beauty. Try not to compare them to the symphonic masterpieces and powerhouses by Beethoven, whose shadow he and many of his contemporaries lived, but hear them instead as a different voice in the emerging and changing symphonic form of the day.

 

Here is an example from his Symphony 1:

 

 

 

And remember, tune in Thursday to hear all four of his symphonies in their entirety:

9:00 (Symphony #1)

11:00 (Symphony #2)

2:00 (Symphony #3)

8:00 (Symphony #4)