Conducted by the Estonian-born American conductor Paavo Järvi, hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) plays Robert Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale (German: Ouverture, Scherzo und Finale) in E major, opus 52, a work for symphony orchestra written in 1841. The German composer originally considered the piece as his second symphony.
The work is in three movements:
- An overture (Andante con moto in E minor – Allegro in E major and 2:2 time) (sketched and completed in April 1841)
- A scherzo (Tempo: Vivo), in 6:8 time and in C# minor, whose theme is based on that of the overture. It has a trio section in D♭ major, in contrasting 2:4 time whose material reappears as the coda of the movement.
- Finale (Allegro molto vivace) (orchestrated around May 1841)
The word “scherzo,” meaning “I joke,” “I jest,” or “I play” in Italian, is related to the same-root verb: scherzare (“to joke”. “to jest”; “to play”). A scherzo (plural scherzos or scherzi), in western classical music, is a piece of music, often a movement from a larger piece such as a symphony or a sonata. The precise definition has varied over the years, but scherzo often refers to a movement that replaces the minuet as the third movement in a four-movement work, such as a symphony, sonata, or string quartet. Scherzo also frequently refers to a fast-moving humorous composition that may or may not be part of a larger work.