Posted at 8:00 AM on May 14, 2007
by John Birge
Welcome May, and Classical Minnesota Public Radio's Pieces of Spring.
Every day, we'll play a springtime classic. Visit our online playlist to find each day's spring piece or, in the Twin Cities, listen to 99.5 every morning at 8. Enter the correct title here, and you have another chance to win fresh flowers delivered to your door for a year! Check back here every day to see if you got it right.
Yesterday's piece was the finale of Schumann's "Spring" Symphony (No. 1).
Being in love was a great catalyst for Schumann. Not only was he able to write a plethora of emotionally-fueled songs, but he was also inspired by Clara to write symphonic music. Its pastoral exuberance is reflected in its nickname of “Spring,” chosen to reflect the symphony’s inspiration: a poem by Adolf Bottger, which ends with the line “In the valley spring is approaching.” The final movement had been named “Spring at its Height,” though Schumann later deleted the names with the hope that the music would not be judged as “mood-pieces.” Nevertheless, if you go to the original German text, there are lines in the poem that fit Schumann's melodies like a song.