Let's Rescue Poor Schumann from His Rescuers

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI:
Let's Rescue Poor Schumann from His Rescuers

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the works and career of Robert Schumann as music composer. Some music conductors have come to realize that Schumann was not a hopeless bumbler but was rather a good composer. Leonard Bernstein in the 1960s had faith in the rightness of Schumann's own instrumentation, that which the jackets of the New York Philharmonic's recordings proclaimed. They gave listeners a chance to hear the music “just as Schumann left it, unburdened with the usual revisions designed to ‘correct’ the composer's reputed deficiencies as an orchestrator.” In the 1950s it was George Szell who promoted his Cleveland Orchestra set with an essay announcing that “Schumann's symphonies can be a thrilling experience to both performers and audiences if Schumann's case is stated clearly and convincingly through the proper style of interpretation.” The great German scholar Philipp Spitta wrote that Schumann's symphonies might without injustice be considered as the most important which have been written since Beethoven in his first edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Keywords: Robert Schumann; music composer; orchestra; symphonies; violas

Chapter.  2134 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.