Schumann: The 4 Symphonies
Schumann said that in the introduction to his "Spring" Symphony he wanted to make us feel the world turning green and perhaps hear a butterfly fluttering, too. It's this kind of evocative imagery that makes this composer's four symphonies so lovable -- even if he thought up these poetic phrases after he wrote the music! But these seemingly innocent works pose dangers for conductors. Some maestros claim to find fault with Schumann's orchestration, complaining that it's thick and muddy, then using that as an excuse to alter the composer's original intentions. Leonard Bernstein sticks with Schumann's original orchestrations, making them sound full and clear -- all without changing a note. And his passionate music making shows us why these works are celebrated examples of 19th-century German Romanticism.