schumannOl’ Robbo, having seen the Nats pull back up to within 5 1/2 of the Mets this evening, spent the shank of it on a whim listening to some of the orchestral works of Robert Schumann – the 1st (“Spring”) and 3rd (Rhenish”) symphonies, to be exact.

Oh, Bobby, Bobby, Bobby.  I admire your keyboard talent, but wish heartily that when you applied yourself to the symphonic oeuvre, you had had a good editor at your side armed with a large bat.

“No, Robert, we do not do it this way.  No, Robert! We! Do! Not! Do! It! This! Way!

*Wham! Wham! Wham!*

Might have helped.  While there are lots of good ideas there, they really are, structurally speaking, a hot mess.

Actually, my favorite Schumann symphony is his 4th (the revised, 1851 version – I’ve heard the earlier go and it’s an even hotter mess).  I was first introduced to it by the Old Gentleman in my misspent yoot, when he would play his 8-track tape of it in our old Ford Country Squire station wagon on our hunting and fishing road-trips, and it just stuck.

But it’s good to know his others, even if I’m not crazy about them.

Speaking of Romantic Era symphonies, I am in the market for the complete sets of both Mendelssohn and Dvorak.  Anyone have any recommendations?  (With regard to the latter, I know his 7th, 8th and 9th very well but almost nothing about the first six.  In re the former, my favorites are teh “Scottish” and the “Reformation”.)  References to historickally informed performances, especially with regard to ol’ Felix, are especially appreciated.

 

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