Schumann’s original label for his Cello Concerto was in fact ‘Concerto for Cello with Orchestral Accompaniment‘, which is reflected in the soloist’s prominence. Composed in 1851, three years before the suicide attempt that had him committed, its three seamlessly running movements often feel like the product of a darkly restless mind. It’s also tightly thematically bound, for instance through its tender second movement echoing back to the first movement, before proceeding to its tense finale. By contrast, the Second Symphony is a hope-filled work, composed as he emerged from his mental breakdown of 1844. Also one over which the spirit of Bach often hovers, audible in the noble opening’s chorale-like quality, and the (otherwise modern-sounding) Adagio‘s long-breathed theme based on A Musical Offering.