“Clara’s Symphony,” written by the virtuoso pianist as a birthday gift to his wife, Clara, is the most original and inventive of Schumann’s works. The revised Fourth Symphony differs in its approach to symphonic form, relying more on melodic ideas that run throughout the work, thereby creating a “symphonic fantasy,” as Schumann originally titled the piece. Musicologists consider it pivotal in the history of symphonies. Schumann combined the traditional four movements, creating an uninterrupted, comprehensive flow of music. For Clara, it was a one-movement symphony, as she wrote: “…from hearing a D minor echoing wildly in the distance, I know in advance that this will be another work that is emerging from the depths of his soul.”

Shostakovich composed the Fifth Symphony in a dangerous and risky atmosphere not only for his career but also for his life. After his fiercely condemned opera Lady Macbeth, it was necessary to atone with a symphony, a work without words, an eternal puzzle for Soviet politicians. The Fifth Symphony was received with great enthusiasm and gave him relief without self-abasement. This is a work that is at the same time complex and simple, direct, with positive fanfare at the end, erasing threats, shadows and doubts. The double message of the “Soviet Artist’s Response to Just Criticism” can be heard by anyone who comes to this concert by the Rijeka Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Greek maestro Myron Michailidis.



Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856): Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120 (1851)

I. Ziemlich langsam — Lebhaft
II. Romanze: Ziemlich langsam
III. Scherzo: Lebhaft
IV. Langsam — Lebhaft

*** intermission ***

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975): Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47
I. Moderato
II. Allegretto
III. Largo
IV. Allegro non troppo


The concert lasts approximately one hour and forty-five minutes and includes one intermission.

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