Robin Ticciati & SCO - Schumann: The Symphonies Live - Seen and Heard
If there was a planned trajectory from Brahms through Berg to Larcher, it was back to the Romantic period for the closing item, Schumann’s magnificent ‘Rhenish’ Symphony (which arrived after a protracted stage rearrangement).
Quite why the ‘Rhenish’ does not get more outings is completely beyond me. Fresh, varied and presenting music of wonderful dignity (the solemn fourth movement, inspired by Cologne Cathedral), it breathes life. True, in the performance, as in the Brahms, ensemble was not always spot-on; more notable perhaps was the chamber approach, allowing Schumann’s textures, and often luminous textures at that, to shine through, in the second movement Intermezzo particularly. All praise in that Intermezzo for the agility of the SCO’s principal horn, Alec Frank-Gemmill.
A fleet and light ‘Rhenish’ – no slowing for the final brass peroration in the last movement, for example – this was bracing Schumann, and a real tonic at that.