Bach The Art of Fugue, Contrapunctus I & IV
Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No 2 in D minor
Schumann Symphony No 2
Philippe Herreweghe Conductor
Martin Helmchen Piano
The premiere of Schumann’s Second Symphony was conducted by his friend Felix Mendelssohn, and the work incorporates Bach’s ‘musical signature’ quoted in The Art of Fugue – the notes B-A-C-H (in English B-flat, A, C, B) – so surely he would nod approval at this programme. It was during the composition of this Symphony that Schumann began to experience the early signs of the mental disorder that would eventually bring his creative life to a premature halt. He wrote that “my resistant spirit had a visible influence on [the Symphony] and it is through this that I sought to fight my condition”.