'Oh, set your steps again, in the valley spring has arrived...' ring the lines of poetry that inspired Schumann. In just four days in January 1841, he outlined the contours of his Spring Symphony. "As if I was seized by a sudden urge of spring," Schumann later explained. That urge of spring could easily be the motto of this concert. Cupid's arrows in Rameau's magical eighteenth-century melodies thaw everyone's hearts.
In his poignant First Violin Concerto, Béla Bartók paints a portrait of his childhood love Steffi, while his Second Violin Concerto is dedicated to the violinist Zotán Székely. Under the baton of conductor Willem Mengelberg, Bartók's Second Violin Concerto premiered in 1939 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. It is a delight to play, according to soloist Liya Petrova, about whom the Sunday Times wrote: "Beautiful sound, mature and silvery with a majestic grandeur."
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