Schumann: Violin Concerto
Stephen Johnson considers the music and historical context of Schumann's Violin Concerto with Matthew Trussler and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rory McDonald.
The Violin Concerto was Schumann's last orchestral work, written shortly before the composer's traumatic breakdown in the 1850s. It was never performed in the composer's lifetime; indeed according to Stephen Johnson, it is a work "with one of the strangest histories in the repertory".
In this programme, Stephen considers the music in the light of Schumann's biography and sets it alongside another dark work from this period, The Manfred Overture, which appeared with the Violin Concerto during its first orchestral run-through. What do these pieces tell us about the musical world of Schumann's final years?