Robert Schumann wrote that the opening fanfare of his “Spring” Symphony #1 should be played to “sound as if it came from on high, like a summons to awakening.” And from that, the earth awakens as Springtime (and the music) blooms forth. Schumann's inspiration for the symphony was two poems by Adolf Boettger and early in writing the music he gave titles to the movements from passages in the poems that described "Spring's Awakening," "Evening," "Joyful Playing," and finally "Spring's Farewell." These probably guided the spirit of his composition but he removed these descriptions before publishing the symphony. As you listen to that opening fanfare, you'll notice it to be a rhythmical match to the words of one of Boettger's poems (just remember that the "e" at the end of a word in German has its own syllable):
O wende, wende deinen Lauf —
Im Thale blüht der Frühling auf!
O turn, O turn and change your course —
In the valley spring blooms forth!
Robert Schumann’s “Spring” Symphony is today’s Midday Masterpiece at 2:00pm on CapRadio Music.
November 22, 2022