ABOUT THE RECORDING
German star conductor Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden present a brand new recording of all four symphonies of Robert Schumann (1810-1856), who lived in Dresden from 1844 to 1850 and wrote his second symphony there.
The recording took place in Suntory Hall, Tokyo alongside concerts which received great critical acclaim.
Robert Schumann's four symphonies are masterpieces of German romantic symphonies.The first symphony, first performed in Leipzig in 1841, is also known as the "Spring Symphony" (Frühlings-Sinfonie). Schumann is said to have received the first impulse for this composition through a spring poem by a contemporary poet. Schumann started to write his second symphony in Dresden in 1845, where he had moved with his family the year before. During its development, Schumann was repeatedly afflicted with severe depression and auditory hallucinations. In 1846, this symphony was premiered by Schumann's close friend Mendelssohn. The third symphony, also known as "Rhenish" (Rheinische) celebrated its premiere in 1851 in Dusseldorf. Also in the Rhineland , where Schumann lived from 1850 and was the music director of the city, the premiere of the final version of the fourth symphony took place in 1853.
Since the season 2012/13 Christian Thielemann is the Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Following engagements at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe, Hanover and Dusseldorf, in 1988 he moved to Nuremberg to occupy the post of Generalmusikdirektor. In 1997 he returned to his hometown of Berlin to direct the Deutsche Oper until 2004, when he became Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, a post he occupied until 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann has been Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival since 2013, where the Staatskapelle is resident orchestra.
In recent seasons, Christian Thielemann has contributed to the birthday celebrations for Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss with numerous Staatskapelle concerts in Dresden and on tour. His programs have also featured a wide range of music from Bach to Henze, Rihm and Gubaidulina. In the Semperoper he most recently conducted new productions of »Der Freischütz« and »Ariadne auf Naxos«. In Salzburg he conducted, among others, »Die Walküre« and »Tosca«. Christian Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, whose New Year’s Concert he conducted in 2019 to great critical acclaim. Since his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in the summer of 2000, he has returned every year to thrill audiences with groundbreaking interpretations. After five years as musical advisor in Bayreuth, he was appointed the festival’s music director in 2015. Much in demand as a versatile concert conductor, he has collaborated with the world’s leading orchestras in Europe, the United States, Israel and Asia.
Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt College of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In May 2015 he was awarded the Richard Wagner prize by the Richard Wagner Society of the city of Leipzig, followed by the prize of the Semperoper Trust in October 2016. In 2019 he was awarded the honorary membership of the Gustav Mahler Association in Hamburg. For his recordings, he has been honored with numerous awards.
Founded by Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen in 1548, the Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the oldest orchestras in the world and thus steeped in tradition.
Over its long history many distinguished conductors and internationally celebrated instrumentalists have left their mark on this onetime court orchestra. Previous directors include Heinrich Schütz, Johann Adolf Hasse, Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner, who called the ensemble his »miraculous harp«. The list of prominent conductors of the last 100 years includes Ernst von Schuch, Fritz Reiner, Fritz Busch, Karl Böhm, Joseph Keilberth, Rudolf Kempe, Otmar Suitner, Kurt Sanderling, Herbert Blomstedt and Giuseppe Sinopoli. The orchestra was directed by Bernard Haitink from 2002 – 2004 and most recently by Fabio Luisi from 2007 – 2010. Principal Conductor since the 2012 / 2013 season has been Christian Thielemann. In May 2016 the former Principal Conductor Herbert Blomstedt received the title Conductor Laureate. The only person to previously hold this title was Sir Colin Davis, from 1990 until his death in April 2013.
Myung-Whun Chung has been Principal Guest Conductor since the 2012 / 2013 season. Richard Strauss and the Staatskapelle were closely linked for more than sixty years. Nine of the composer’s operas were premiered in Dresden, including »Salome«, »Elektra« and »Der Rosenkavalier«, while Strauss’s »Alpine Symphony« was dedicated to the orchestra. Countless other famous composers have written works either dedicated to the orchestra or first performed in Dresden. In 2007 the Staatskapelle reaffirmed this tradition by introducing the annual position of »Capell-Compositeur«. Following on from Hans Werner Henze, Sofia Gubaidulina, Wolfgang Rihm, György Kurtág and Arvo Pärt, the Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös will hold this title for the 2018 / 2019 season. As »Capell-Virtuos« the Staatskapelle welcomes the exceptional violinst Frank Peter Zimmermann.
The Staatskapelle’s home is the Semperoper, where it performs around 250 operas and ballets each season. In addition, the ensemble presents another 50 symphonic and chamber concerts in the opera house, as well as playing at various musical events in Dresden’s Frauenkirche.
As one of the world’s most celebrated and popular symphony orchestras, the Staatskapelle regularly travels abroad to the world’s leading classical venues. Since 2013 the Staatskapelle Dresden has been the resident orchestra of the Salzburg Easter Festival, whose Artistic Director is none other than Christian Thielemann.
At a ceremony in Brussels in 2007 the Staatskapelle became the first – and so far only – orchestra to be awarded the »European Prize for the Preservation of the World’s Musical Heritage«.