Talk:Symphony No.4, Op.120 (Schumann, Robert)

Symphony in d minor - 1841 edition

A pity that we do not have a copy of the original 1841 score of the d minor symphony along with the revised orchestral score to the opus 120 so that we can study and compare the differences between the two works. It was Brahms who got into a heated arguement with Clara Schumann over the 1841 work which in recent years has enjoyed a number of performances and recordings. The Masur set mistakenly has the d minor marked as the opus 120 but it is the original 1841 version. The second movement has the fewest known changes except for a so called missing guitar part that I have been told about. The first and last movements have significant changes both in orchestration and composition. The other important difference is that the 1841 has Italian tempo markings while the opus 120 is in German which also plays a major part as to the interpretation between the two works.

The story is that Schumann was not the best of conductors and also felt that d minor was too long. He changed the meter to cut time in some areas. He also increased the number of instruments at a solo section figuring that if he could not cue in oboe, for example, two other instruments would suffice.

If anyone has a copy of the full orchestral 1841 score it would be deeply appreciated if they could upload it on this site.

SBB (of course) has got a copy. --Ralph Theo Misch 23:21, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
SBB in fact now has what looks like an undated 1841 ms (judging from the musical differences, I'm fairly positive it's the 1841 score, unless he redacted all his changes from 1841->1851 back in 1853- will have to look at that 1853 ms to see... not in this browser I won't, though...) - scanned in. Linked to the 1841(?) ms scan in the "forum" of this workpage... someone who's better than I am at trimming SBB ms scores to remove copyright-stuff from the bottom and top, and reduce filesize a little (but keep manuscript detail- so not reduce much), etc. may want to try to upload that... Eric 20:32, 3 May 2013 (EDT)
No, the link I provided is the 1853 re-orchestration below. My mistake. Eric 23:36, 12 June 2013 (EDT) (anyhow- erm... not sure who originally posted this request, but-- we have the full parts (no guitar, I don't think?) and score of the 1841 version as published in 1891, now, courtesy of the scanners at Sibley Library Rochester.)

The Autograph fair copy of the first version is housed in the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Wien (A-Wgm A 292).--BachFan 04:52, 26 March 2022 (CET)

Revised version (1853), autograph

  • Title page by Schumann's hand:

Skizzirt im J. 1841, neu instrumentirt
im J. 1853.

Als die ersten Klänge dieser Symphonie entstanden,
da war Joseph Joachim noch ein kleiner Bursch;
seitdem ist die Symphonie und noch mehr
der Bursch größer gewachsen, weshalb ich
sie ihm auch, wenn auch nur im Stillen -
Robert Schumann.
d. 23. Mai. 1853.
--Ralph Theo Misch 22:00, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Tried to translate the dedication:

'When the first sounds of this symphonie came into being,
Joseph Joachim was still a small boy;
since then, the symphonie and more
the lad has grown larger, so I
dedicate it to him - albeit only inwardly.'
--Ralph Theo Misch 22:18, 24 August 2011 (UTC)