Peter Bay, Conductor
Rick Rowley, Piano
Music by Robert Schumann & Edward MacDowell
Be our guest for a night of Schumann and pianist Rick Rowley performing Edward MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor. We start the evening with Robert Schumann’s Manfred Overture. “The work is based on the poem Manfred by Lord Byron and consists of an overture, an entracte, melodramas, and several solos and choruses.” Rick Rowley then takes the stage to perform MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 2 which has some obvious similarities with Edvard Grieg’s, Camille Saint-Saëns’s and Franz Liszt’s concertos. Some consider this to be the first major piano concerto written by an American.
We conclude the evening with Schumann’s Symphony No. 2. “Schumann began to sketch the symphony on December 12, 1845, and had a robust draft of the entire work by December 28. He spent most of the next year orchestrating, beginning February 12, 1846. His depression and poor health, including ringing in his ears, prevented him finishing the work until October 19. Publication followed in 1847. The uplifting tone of the symphony is remarkable in the face of Schumann’s health problems—the work can be seen as a Beethovenian triumph over fate/pessimism.” This is truly a “Triumph over Fate.”