For those of us in colder climates, we begin longing for spring’s arrival not long after the first of the year! Robert Schumann was no different, nicknaming his First Symphony Spring when he wrote it in January of 1841. Clara Wieck instigated the composition, writing Schumann and persuading him to uses his talents to explore symphonic music. The piece took just four days to sketch, and originally contained spring-related titles for each movement. Those were later discarded for publication, but there is no doubt that the butterflies and birds of springtime were on the composer’s mind when he wrote the Symphony No. 1.
What about Joaquin Rodrigo’s reflections of springtime in his Berceuse de printemps? This lullaby for spring of 1928 is perhaps different than the Rodrigo you are used to hearing. Known for his Concierto de Aranjuez and other works for guitar, this piece is actually originally written for solo piano! The piece exudes the happiness of the season for which it was written, and is written to resemble a music box.
Next time, we look at a few more pieces for the vernal equinox!