Talk:Symphony No. 1 (Schumann)

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First section[edit]

"Schumann sketched the symphony in four days from January 23-26 and completed the orchestration within a month by February 20. (This type of manic pace is consistent with the retrospective diagnosis of bipolar disorder.)"

I removed the section in parentheses from the article for the following reasons:

1.) Bipolar disorder? Really? Who diagnosed it? Certainly it wasn't diagnosed in Schumann's lifetime. We may never know what Schumann was suffering from in his last years. Aside from bipolar disorder, I've also heard that he was afflicted with schizophrenia or syphilis, etc. In the end, these "retrospective diagnoses" are pointless because they are, at best, educated guesses and, at worst, merely speculation. In any case, I've always believed that poor Schumann was simply stressed out with the strain of his duties in Düsseldorf, the negative critical opinion of his works and conducting abilities, his not always rosy marriage with Clara (who would later shamelessly abandon him in Endenich as she re-started her career as touring virtuoso) and his self doubt of his own abilities. The poor man probably just needed a break which he thought he was going to get at Endenich. We all know how that ended.

2.) Why would working at a "manic pace" be indicative of mental illness? Mozart scribbled his Don Giovanni and Magic Flute overtures the day the operas were to premiere. Shostakovich wrote the Largo to his Fifth Symphony in three days; the Festive Overture in one day. There are scores of other similar incidents with composers who would write complex works in short periods of time. Were these men mentally ill too? I prefer to think that talent, inspiration, and hard work, as opposed to mental infirmity, were what spurred these men to work so fast. El Chileno Chido 04:17, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


I believe there are 2 problems with the selected discography. First, despite the fact I quite egree with the selection (with the addition of the first Bernstein version, with NYP), it still is POV since there is no external reference whatsoever. Second, I think the mention of the date and location for the recording sessions would be more interesting than the mention of one cd catalog number (for example Szell : Severence Hall, Cleveland, october 24-25 1958 ; Sawallisch : september 1-12 1972 ; Karajan : january & february 1971...). BTW, these remarks apply to a number of articles about classical music... Vol de nuit (talk) 18:34, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

There was a famous instrumental issue with the opening of the first movement, which was resolved by Mendelssohn, who altered the pitch of the opening fanfare by a third, to make it more practical for the brass instruments of the 1840s. It happens that when Hans Pfitzner recorded the work he restored Schumann's original text at this point, the instruments available to him being able to cope. Pfitzner isn't mentioned in the discography, of course. In general the issue of Schumann's scoring isn't mentioned here. Shouldn't it be? (talk) 11:40, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Ottmar Suitner, Staatskapelle Berlin, 1987 (Denon CO-1516) too recorded the autograph version (with orig. opening). It is misleading to say that Mendelssohn altered the opening. The revised (printed) version is in fact Schumann's first idea. See Muns 2010 and ref. I don't think these details should be in the article though. (Deloor (talk) 08:03, 8 September 2016 (UTC))

The recommendation by one music critic adds too much detail. The Zinman recording should simply be in the list, possibly with a footnote. (Deloor (talk) 08:03, 8 September 2016 (UTC))


Hardly any of these references is to primary sources or solid scholarship. (Deloor (talk) 07:17, 8 September 2016 (UTC))