Throughout his adult life, composer Robert Schumann (1810-56) struggled against a fear of mental disintegration. His Symphony No. 2 in C major Op. 61 was written in 1845 while he was recovering from a breakdown and contains an illustration of how his creative daemons, the heroic, high-spirited 'Florestan', and the brooding, poetic 'Eusebius', came into conflict in his music, with its combination of power and intimate lyricism. Focusing on the Second Symphony, this film uses a dynamic interaction between rehearsal footage and dramatised sequences to give a penetrating insight into the composer's complex and fractured genius. The Schumann Encounter finds Sir Roger Norrington in Salzburg to rehearse and perform the Symphony No. 2 with the Camerata Academica, one of Europe's leading chamber orchestras. Snatching some rest before the evening's concert with the Camerata Academica, he is aware of an argument in progress in the adjoining hotel room. He falls asleep only to awake in another reality, transformed into Master Raro - the mediator between Florestan and Eusebius, both played by Simon Callow (Amadeus, Shakespeare in Love) - who are at odds over the composition of the Second Symphony.