Brahms & Schumann - Symphony No. 1 (Label: Deutsche Grammophone)
Herbert Von Karajan ~ Conductor
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra ~ Orchestra 

                           Robert Schumann                   
                                  1810 - 1856

              Symphony No. 1
in B flat major       
                   Op. 38, Spring Symphony


Under the encouragement of his beloved wife, Clara, Schumann attempted his first symphonic work, in B flat major Op. 38, widely known as the Spring Symphony. It was written very quickly, in only a few days and was warmly received on March 1841 when Schumann was 31.

It was said that the title of the symphony was inspired by Schumann’s
Liebesfrühling (Spring of love), and that it was the awakening of not only the spring season, but also a young man’s passion.

Known to be one of the finest conductors, Karajan continued to give his well-detailed interpretations of Schumann’s symphony here. In this recording, Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra precisely capture the joy of the long awaited spring, and the relief that winter is finally over. The musical phrases are sharply defined and warmly structured. The warm orchestral colour and ambience are something we can expect from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Under the baton of Karajan, this Spring Symphony of Schumann is filled with zest and energy. I very much enjoy the sweep of the highly-spirited scherzo, which sounds
invigoratingly refreshing.

Together with Schumann’s Spring Symphony in this
Deutsche Grammophone CD, is Brahms Symphony No. 1. It is a well delivered and remarkable performance of Karajan and the London philharmonic Orchestra. I especially love the smoothness of the thematic development and its expansive ending.

One interestingly fact about both symphonies – Schumann only took a few days at the final days of winter at the age of 31 to work on this important symphony of his which is said to have awaken his passion; while Brahms took 21 years, from 22 years old to 43 years old, from sketches to finishing touches. This important symphony of Brahms was later widely received as “Beethoven’s Tenth”.

A brilliant recording to recommend.

Sample music from youtube

Back to Archives  Stravinsky's Rite of Spring  Vivaldi's Spring 

~Written by Boon Sin Ler