Schumann's music is romanticism in its purest state, combining passion, longing, love, happiness, laughter, melancholy, and sadness. He was encouraged to compose symphonies by his wife, Clara, finally producing four masterpieces: “I would often like to smash my piano, it has become too feeble for my ideas”. Carry on reading
The second symphony is intense and profound, composed at a very turbulent time in his life. It was premiered by his friend Felix Mendelssohn. Chopin launched his musical career in Vienna as a 19-year-old pianist and composer, with spectacular success. On his return to Warsaw, he composed two concertos for piano. The concerto performed today by Cristian Zacharias is a perfect blend of virtuoso musicianship and the lyricism of a young composer who was to become known, years later, as the “poet of the piano”. The programme opens with some of Dvořák’s freshest and most elegant pieces: a selection of his engaging Legends, composed originally for piano duet and orchestrated by the composer himself.