Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 2 in C Op. 61
Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 marked a new way of working for the composer. As a young composer, Schumann was a gifted improviser on the piano, which informed much of his earlier work, and he often awaited visits from the muse to spark periods of composition.
However, as of 1845, Schumann immersed himself in hours of contrapuntal study and the music of J.S. Bach, resulting in different method of composition for the composer. In this method, he “began to invent and work out everything” in his head, without the help of a piano. For this reason, this work turns out to be one of the most “Bach-ian” symphonies ever written. It was also an important work in Schumann’s personal life: the symphony and his new method of working provided a respite from previous days of poor health, both mental and physical.