Movement 1: Andante un poco maestoso – Allegro molto vivace
Movement 2: Larghetto –
Movement 3: Scherzo: Molto vivace
Movement 4: Finale: Allegro animato e grazioso
It fell to Felix Mendelssohn to premiere the work, at a concert that March when Clara would be performing for the first time since her wedding. On 6 and 10 March, Schumann went through the symphony with Mendelssohn. The late beginner was deeply impressed by his friend’s understanding: ‘He always sees the right thing and fastens on to it’. There was, for example, a problem with the horn calls at the very opening of the symphony—valved horns were just coming in—and at a rehearsal Schumann had to rewrite the passage to obtain something more like the effect he wanted. After some furious copying of parts, the ‘Spring’ Symphony was given at the Leipzig Gewandhaus on 31 March 1841, just over nine weeks after Schumann had started it. The evening was a triumph, with congratulations coming from all sides. The work was performed again in Leipzig on 13 August, after still further revisions.
from notes by John Worthen © 2014