Relayed from the National Museum of Wales.
Schumann was writing his music to Faust during several years. As early as 1844 he studied Goethe's book, and wrote a good deal of the music for his Scenes from Faust. The Overture was written last, in 1853. The work was first performed (without this prelude) in 1849, but the complete Scenes only came out thirteen years later.
Haydn's Symphony owes its name to the fact that the composer chose it for performance at an Oxford concert in 1791, when the University conferred on him the Degree of Doctor of Music. It is typical Haydn music, delightfully fresh and spontaneous, and full of humour.
There are four Movements in the Symphony, the style of each strikingly in contrast to that of the others.
The First Movement, beginning with a slow Introduction, breaks, after a pause, into a quick, spirited pace, and so continues throughout its course.
The Second Movement, the slow one, is really an Air with Variations, but the song-like, expressive theme is treated very freely, and sometimes practically disappears.
The Third Movement is the usual Minuet and Trio.
The Last Movement is just an exhilarating express-speed dance.