The Symphony No. 3 “Rhenish” in E flat major, Op. 97 is the last of Robert Schumann‘s (1810-1856) symphonies to be composed, although not the last published. It was composed from November 2 to December 9, 1850, and comprises five movements:
- Scherzo: Sehr mäßig (in C major)
- Nicht schnell (in A-flat major)
- Feierlich (in E-flat minor)
The Third Symphony is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets in B♭, two bassoons, four french horns in E♭, two trumpets in E♭, three trombones, timpani andstrings. Its premiere on February 6, 1851 in Düsseldorf, conducted by Schumann himself, was received with mixed reviews, “ranging from praise without qualification to bewilderment”. However according to Peter A. Brown, members of the audience applauded between every movement, and especially at the end of the work when the orchestra joined them in congratulating Schumann by shouting “hurrah!”.