Seven Fragments for Orchestra, in memoriam Robert Schumann
Introduction and Concert-Allegro in D minor op. 134
Introduction and Allegro appassionato (Concertstück) in G major op. 92
Suite for orchestra No. 3 in G major op. 55
A Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in co-operation with Berliner Festspiele/Musikfest Berlin
At the end of his life, Robert Schumann apparently had hallucinations which provided him with musical inspiration. This, at least, is what Clara Schumann reported in her diaries. According to them, Schumann noted a theme in the night from the 17th to the 18th February 1854 that “the ghosts of Schubert and Mendelssohn had sung to him, and about which he composed variations that were, for me, equally stirring and poignant.” Aribert Reimann integrated the topic of these Geistervariations (Ghost Variations) in 1988 in three of his Sieben Fragmente für Orchester (Seven Fragments for Orchestra), which were dedicated to “Robert Schumann in Memoriam” – subtle musical meditations on the person and music by the Romanticist so admired by Reimann.
Schumann himself is represented with two only rarely heard contributions to the concert work genre in this Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin concert under chief conductor Tugan Sokhiev: the soloist is Paris-born pianist Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, who was born in 1986. In the second part of the programme, Peter I. Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite Op. 55 is a work that appears to be a “secret symphony” by the composer in terms of its formal structure, its orchestration and temporal expansiveness and its musical wealth. Following the premiere of the work in St. Petersburg, Tchaikovsky wrote in a letter to his patron Nadeschda von Meck: “I was able to notice that the entire audience was enraptured und thankful to me. Such moments are the most beautiful in the life of an artist. This is what makes living and working worthwhile.”