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Overture, Scherzo and Finale

Robert Schumann
(1810-56)



The "Overture, Scherzo and Finale" was first performed at the Gewandhaus Concert, in Leipzig, on December 7, 1841, at which concert the D minor Symphony of the same composer, was also played.

The year 1841 was an unusually busy one for Schumann, for his happy surroundings stimulated him to enter the field of orchestral composition, and with his usual energy he sketched in rapid succession his first Symphony in B flat, the fourth in D minor, and the Sinfonetta, as he first called his opus 52. The latter work, not having any slow movement, he revised in 1845, and then published it under the title: "Overture, Scherzo and Finale."

The Overture, though slighter than Schumann's other symphonic movements, is full of grace and spirit. It abounds in the peculiar veins of delicate feeling and fancy which distinguish his works; and it would be difficult to find a work of his which unites his most pleasing characteristics in so short a form. The Scherzo is peculiarly stamped with that individuality which gained his symphonies such high rank, and all of which contain Scherzos of extraordinary merit. The tripping dotted rhythm, 6-8 time, prevails throughout, and is relieved in the Trio by a graceful phrase in 2-4 time. Both Scherzo and Trio are repeated, closing with a reminiscence of the first movement and a few bars from the Scherzo. The Finale assumes a more legato character in the first part, while the second half introduces a new theme, which, by its obstinate and uncompromising rhythm, is in strong contrast to the former.





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