Hélène Grimaud, piano
Paavo Järvi, conductor
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Symphony No. 8 in C major, D 944, the Great
“Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto is probably the most sensitive, delicate, and special of all piano concertos,” says French pianist Hélène Grimaud. Schumann, who distanced himself from all tonal effects and empty virtuosity, composed a work here in which symphonic density and real inwardness take the place of superficial brilliance. By closely interweaving the solo and orchestral movements, Schumann broke completely new ground with his only piano concerto in 1845. With Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, conducted by Paavo Järvi, will also perform a work that Schumann played a role in making successful. For when the symphony was to be performed for the first time in 1827, it was found to be too long and difficult during the first rehearsals – and so it disappeared back into the drawer. It was not until 1838, just ten years after Schubert’s death, that Schumann was shown the symphony score and immediately persuaded Felix Mendelssohn to conduct the premiere at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. A stroke of luck, since the symphony not only represents the crowning achievement of Schubert’s symphonic oeuvre, but above all is considered groundbreaking for the symphonic oeuvre of subsequent generations.
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