Author Topic: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)  (Read 16053 times)

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cilgwyn

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #80 on: October 04, 2012, 03:05:29 PM »
Busy with cordless headphones on I listened,a captive audience, to the Marco Polo cd of Symphonies 7 & 8!  Now I'm enjoying them! Especially No7.
Gradually Spohr's secrets are opening up. Will I ever return to the Havergal Brian thread?!! ::)
And Spohr composed so much!! :o

cilgwyn

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #81 on: June 25, 2017, 05:53:01 AM »
On now. Louis Spohr Piano Trios. I love Spohr. At best,his music is so beautifully crafted. He really is a very satisfying composer to listen to,imho! ;D :)  The music isn't particularly profound,I'll admit,but it just tinkles away in a delightful,relaxing kind of way;and you can read,write,draw and just relax to it. At the same time the music does have some kind of purpose. It doesn't just meander aimlessly,like some examples of background 'muzak',which I find myself rushing to switch off! Nice!! :) :) :) This is a 3cd (fat box type) set,by the way!




cilgwyn

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #82 on: June 25, 2017, 09:33:07 AM »
On now. More Spohr. These Double Quartets are delightful! Nothing terribly profound,but not superficial either. They conjure up all kinds of lovely images in the mind. Lovely and relaxing to write,read and draw to. Spohr's music always feels like it's going somewhere.  There's none of that aimlessness that has me constantly looking at the track timing on the cd player. Spohr might not be the great composer some of his contemporaries though he was,but at his best I find his music very satisfying to listen to. In fact,I'll put my cards on the table and say;I think that,at his best,Spohr is a very good composer and deserves better! His Chamber music is particularly good.


cilgwyn

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #83 on: July 07, 2017, 06:56:42 AM »
Hi Dax - as already stated, I like his chamber works, although the Violin Concertos are certainly worth exploring; but one of my first CD(s) which I still own are the Double Quartets shown below; since you like his Octet, these might interest you - please post back! :)


I love his Double Quartets. That is a wonderful 2 cd set.

cilgwyn

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #84 on: July 07, 2017, 06:57:11 AM »
On now. Louis Spohr has his very own sound world once you get to know his music. I find his music very satisfying to listen to. It's well crafted. He knows his orchestra inside out. His symphonies have a genial manner. People listen to his music,and they think. Oh,he used to be regarded as a major composer. Hm! They expect him to be like Beethoven. Off he goes!!The eighth is one of the best. I love those sweeping strings and stately flourishes. His use of horns. His woodwinds just seem to chuckle along.(I love his use of woodwind). It's a lovely score. The second is probably the weakest of the lot,imho;but it's still a pleasant listen,and not without it's charms. (His First is by contrast,a peach of a score). The Cpo series is my Spohr cycle of choice. I've heard all the others. The playing,the recording quality. Everything feels and sounds just right! Great choice of artwork,as usual,from Cpo. One of my favourite 'neglected' composers. Though,there's plenty of him on cd,these days!


SymphonicAddict

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #85 on: July 07, 2017, 03:59:05 PM »
Sadly, I find Spohr's symphonies very flat, almost repetitive, there are no ingenious parts, I can't feel neither exciting nor sparkling moments on them. You can find some fun, they are kind of entertaining, but it's not enough for me. Méhul's, Onslow's and some by Ries are better by far imho. Fortunately for Spohr, there are some people who enjoy his music  :D
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 04:04:21 PM by SymphonicAddict »

cilgwyn

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #86 on: July 09, 2017, 02:41:41 AM »
After reading your recent posts on Spohr's symphonies I decided to listen to clips (I own a few of his chamber works but no symphonies). I had the strangest sensation: although I was listening to different movements, they all sounded the same! There was no contrast. And then I went to Classics Today and read the review of the CPO 3 & 10. The review began:

"What can you say about a composer whose music is so rhythmically flabby and lacking in contrast that everything basically sounds like everything else?"

So it isn't just me. I know it's unfair to judge an entire symphony by a few short clips, but I didn't hear anything even remotely interesting. And yet, perversely, I still have an urge to order the 3/10 anyway (it's very cheap at JPC). I'm trying to discover why I have this urge  :D  I should probably ask snyprrrr....he's full of strange urges  ;D
Incidentally,I didn't know snyprrr was " full of strange urges"!!! ??? ;D


Sarge
Nice to see the level of enthusiasm my posts about Spohr have been creating!! ??? :( ;D I'm currently enjoying the Cpo of his Second and Eighth Symphonies;although I put the cd on for the Eighth Symphony,which is one of my favourites. Perfect music for a Sunday,imho.   

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #87 on: July 09, 2017, 04:51:46 AM »
Nice to see the level of enthusiasm my posts about Spohr have been creating!! ???

 ;D  :D ;D

Well, your posts (along with Neal's) did cause me to buy 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10. So at least initially there was some enthusiasm. It's been years, though, since I listened to them. They never became something I crave very often...or crave at all. They are pleasant, easy listening. I don't regret the purchases. But when I want second tier music from this period, I usually turn to Berwald. Now his symphonies really thrill me.

:( ;D I'm currently enjoying the Cpo of his Second and Eighth Symphonies;although I put the cd on for the Eighth Symphony,which is one of my favourites. Perfect music for a Sunday,imho.   

Listening to the Eighth now too. The first movement doesn't grab me but the Poco Adagio (quite lovely) and Scherzo (the violin, flute and horn having a conversation with other winds sometimes adding a comment or two  8) ) are more interesting.


Sarge
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 04:59:44 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
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Online SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #88 on: July 09, 2017, 05:41:43 AM »
Hi Guys - amazing that I started this thread 10 years ago!  :o

For myself, I enjoy Spohr's chamber music the most; also, like the Violin Concertos (own the box below) - currently, I've accumulated about 2 dozen CDs of his music - own Spohr's first 6 Symphonies w/ Shelley - there is a box set w/ Howard Griffiths - just curious what the preferences may be on these two conductors (or others, if available)?  Thanks for any comments - Dave :)

   

Online SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #89 on: August 07, 2017, 11:51:38 AM »
This afternoon, I left the 'longish' post below in the 'Listening Thread', so will be buried shortly - just wanted to add it here for those reviewing our Spohr thread - acquired the last 2 Symphony discs from BRO -  :)  Dave

***************************************************************************************************************************************************
For the afternoon, 2 more BRO arrivals - I already own the first 3 discs in Shelley's cycle of the Spohr 10 Symphonies - reviews attached, for those interested; these were just $7 each - at the moment, BRO has 4 of these 5 discs.  Dave :)

P.S. on Amazon USA, there is the 5-CD CPO box of the same works (plus a bunch of fillers) w/ Howard Griffiths for $29 on the MP - out of curiosity (since I've not heard the Griffiths performances) I reviewed the Fanfare Archive and just provide a few short quotes below; seems that Griffiths has the edge for the orchestra and sound recording, but close, so no need to own both, in my mind.

Quote
I find Griffiths a bit more incisive in these symphonies than Shelley; he is faster in the Ninth, particularly in the slow movement, “Summer,” which helps. He is also aided by more immediate, transparent recorded sound. In addition, of course, his cycle is on SACD, as opposed to Hyperion’s standard CDs for Shelley. Both cycles are well done, although I would give Griffiths the slight edge overall based on the sound and the more substantive nature of his fillers. Now, let’s see whether CPO issues the 10 symphonies in a boxed set. Meanwhile, recommended.

Quote
I’ll confess that I’ve heard only one of Shelley’s Spohr CDs. It was the first to come out, and it contained the symphonies Nos. 1 and 2, plus the Grand Concert Overture. So, unfortunately, I can’t compare Shelley’s 4 and 5 to this new 4 and 5 from Griffiths and CPO. But I have been collecting Griffiths’s cycle, so I can compare his 1 and 2 to Shelley’s 1 and 2. In a nutshell, the differences—mainly in orchestral execution and recording, rather than in matters of interpretation—are of such a minor degree as to conclude that if you already have one you don’t need the other, unless you consider the music important enough, and you are so enchanted by it, that you feel the necessity to have it in multiple versions. My sense is that Griffiths’s Hannover North German Radio forces are a bit more polished in their performances and perhaps a bit more conversant with Spohr’s German Romantic vernacular than are Shelley’s Italian Swiss Orchestra players; and, at least on Shelley’s First and Second symphonies disc, Hyperion’s sound isn’t quite as focused as it is on Griffiths’s CPO disc containing the First Symphony.

Spohr, Louis - Symphonies 7 & 9 and Symphonies 8 & 10, both w/ Howard Shelley & Orchestra Della Svizzera Italiana.

   

cilgwyn

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #90 on: August 07, 2017, 01:54:32 PM »
I had the Marco Polo cds of the symphonies at first. I think they were good,and some 'critics' seem to like his interpretations. That said,although I quite liked what I heard,I was not convinced. Also the sound quality 'got to' me. After reading some of the reviews of the Shelley and Griffiths recordings I decided,in my case,to go for the Cpo series. I was immediately impressed by the vigour and sweep Griffiths brought to these symphonies. The quality of the recorded sound was another deciding factor. Enterprising as their repertoire undoubtedly was,the sound quality of those Marco Polo recordings has always been a bit of a turn-off for me. Although,there are exceptions. The Spohr series isn't one of the worst examples;but it still makes Spohr's orchestration sound thin and scrawny. Walter has a more measured response. You could say that this gives the music more space to breathe. I can see this might work for some people. On the downside,it gives more fuel to the common criticism that seems to be levelled at these symphonies,that they just seem to chug along. That there's no drama,and they are too good humoured for their own good. Hurwitz describes them as being "flabby"! I particularly like Walter's interpretations of the Seventh and eighth symphonies;and the fact that Marco Polo chose to couple them together. They are two personal favourites! If I had to pick out one cd from that cycle,that would be the one. In fact,if Walter had been provided with the sound quality Shelley and Griffiths got,I might even have kept his cycle!! That said,there's no doubt that the Griffiths cycle is the 'one' that 'did it' for me. Just the sweep and vigour that Griffiths brings to these scores. The Shelley cycle is obviously very good;and I have heard some of the cycle. I still have the Hyperion cd of Symphonies 3 & 6,because I particularly like having those two symphonies on one cd. People criticise Spohr's symphonies for not having drama. For being too genial! I like his symphonies precisely because of that. I love his orchestration. The sound of his woodwind in particular. The way it just seems to 'chuckle' along. I think he was a superb orchestrator. In fact, think his use of horns and woodwind is quite delectable at times;and very relaxing to listen to. I only wish there were more symphonic cycles that were as happy and warm hearted as Spohr's.
Anyway.....enough! I mustn't get too carried away! ::) ;D (By the way,I wish Hyperion and Cpo would do the same for the symphonies of Anton Rubinstein;particularly No's 2 and 4!) I agree that Spohr's finest music is probably to be found in his chamber music. I think some of it is very good,indeed. I like what I have heard of his choral music,too. Unfortunately,this has had less attention from recording labels than it seems to deserve,judging from the few examples I have managed to hear! :(


Online SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #91 on: August 08, 2017, 07:33:28 AM »
I had the Marco Polo cds of the symphonies at first. I think they were good,and some 'critics' seem to like his interpretations. That said,although I quite liked what I heard,I was not convinced. Also the sound quality 'got to' me. After reading some of the reviews of the Shelley and Griffiths recordings I decided,in my case,to go for the Cpo series. I was immediately impressed by the vigour and sweep Griffiths brought to these symphonies. The quality of the recorded sound was another deciding factor. Enterprising as their repertoire undoubtedly was,the sound quality of those Marco Polo recordings has always been a bit of a turn-off for me............

Hello Cilgwyn - thanks for your post (partly quoted above); the comments on the Marco Polo series w/ Walter have been a common description in the reviews I posted, i.e. poorer sound being the main complaint - I've not heard any and plan not to bother w/ others already stating they have been supplanted by Shelley & Griffiths.  Now I do have a few of Spohr's String Quartet discs on the same label, BUT there are SO many and suspect more modern performances might be superior, not sure (and if ever done)?

NOW, concerning Shelley vs. Griffiths, both sets seem to have gleamed positive reviews w/ an edge to the CPO series - but is that 'edge' sharp enough to make me 'cull out' the Hyperion discs and replaced w/ Griffiths performances?  Not sure, but will listen to the latter on Spotify and do a little comparison (Griffith's set is just $29 in the MP Amazon USA and I have some credit there).

Today, Springrite (Paul) made an interesting comment in the 'listening thread' HERE (scroll to #96245) that the Spohr Symphonies sounded like 'large scale' chamber works to him - I'm relistening to the 2 discs that I just acquired and will make a comment later - these pieces were written late in the composer's life during the 'Romantic Period' where bombastic dynamics were common (and which are lacking in Spohr's works to my years).  You might want to follow the link and comment on Paul's observation.  Dave :)

cilgwyn

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #92 on: August 09, 2017, 02:19:29 AM »
I see Rob Barnett likes Spohr!

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2017/Aug/Spohr_sys78_8555527.htm

This release was my favourite of the Marco Polo cycle. I think Walter's performances are good. He takes them at a more measured pace. Interesting? It makes me wonder how Spohr was performed in his heyday? I get the feeling performances of music tend to be quicker these days. I can't agree with RB about the sound quality,though. It's not bad;it just has a hard edge to it. The spaciousness (and lushness) of the Cpo and Hyperion recordings really brings out the beauty of Spohr's orchestration. Of course,it's quite possible that Walter has the 'right' approach,historically? Maybe Spohr was performed at a more measured pace back then? The now,sadly defunct,Spohr Society of Great Britain (I fleetingly considered joining,alas! :() seem to favour his approach;judging from what I have read in their Journals,which are available to read and download for free,on their website,by the way! ??? :)! That said,I do feel Griffiths and Shelley have a more modern approach,bringing more excitement and sweep to Spohr's music,in the faster passages. This was the clincher for me. In that sense I feel that Walter's approach,although good,is probably a little outmoded for modern ears. Having said that,I actually feel his reading of the eighth symphony has more vigour and sweep than Griffiths does. If only Marco Polo could have given his laudable efforts,on Spohr's behalf,better sound!! I might buy another s/h copy,though?!

The Spohr Society of Great Britain :

http://www.spohr-society.org.uk/  Spohr Journal's free to download & read (very interesting,if you like his music!)

Offline SergeCpp

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #93 on: May 07, 2020, 08:58:05 AM »


Spohr Clarinet Concertos — Maria du Toit & Cape Philharmonic (Arjan Tien)

Playlist (Maria du Toit — Topic) or Bulk (Brilliant Classics — Channel)
There is a strangeness in simple things.

Online SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #94 on: May 07, 2020, 12:53:03 PM »
   

Spohr Clarinet Concertos — Maria du Toit & Cape Philharmonic (Arjan Tien)

Playlist (Maria du Toit — Topic) or Bulk (Brilliant Classics — Channel)

Hi Serge... - enjoy Spohr and owned many recordings of his music and love the clarinet! :)  So your posting piqued my interest - attached a Fanfare review of the recording by du Toit - for myself, I have the 2 CDs inserted above w/ Michael Collins on the clarinet; also included reviews of his performances - may help others to make a decision if wanting to acquire these wind concertos which I would recommend.  Dave

Offline SergeCpp

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #95 on: May 07, 2020, 07:00:32 PM »
...for myself, I have the 2 CDs inserted above w/ Michael Collins on the clarinet...

Hello, Dave!

Thank you so much for such valuable information. I've checked YouTube for these concerts with Michael Collins — currently absent there, but I'll wait, eventually they will be there on Michael Collins channel (so called "topic").

There are many of interpretations on YouTube, and I've listened to some of them.



Spohr Clarinet Concertos — Karl Leister & Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart (Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos)
There is a strangeness in simple things.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #96 on: May 07, 2020, 11:08:17 PM »
I think my favorite Spohr pieces are from the "niches" like the double quartets and the mixed wind/strings chamber music septet, octet, nonet.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline SergeCpp

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #97 on: May 10, 2020, 01:24:42 AM »
When I firstly had knew of Spohr and began to listen to his music it was his Violin Concertos (of them I listened to Ulf Hoelscher's set) and String Quartets (of them I listened that set of 17 volumes with different performers). After some time I performed further investigations of Spohr's music and found Seven String Quinets and these Quintets quickly become my personal Spohr's favorite music. From that time I less listened to Spohr's Concertos (of them I discovered also Quartet Concerto). And I'm fond of Spohr's String Quartets and listened to all 36 of them many times. But his String Quintets are remained my favorites.

I've read article in Spohr Journal no. 19, 1992 named Spohr's String Quintets and Sextet (5 pages, PDF file of 2.5 MB) and cannot support words "a lack of human warmth" said there about beginning of String Quintet No. 1 — melody there is full of warmth and beauty.



Spohr String Quintets — Danubius Quartet & Sandor Papp

[ Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3 | Vol. 4 ]

Somewhat critical review (ClassicalNet).
Quite positive review (MusicWeb).

//
There is a strangeness in simple things.

Online SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #98 on: May 22, 2020, 07:52:15 AM »
At the moment, I'm going through my Spohr Collection, comprised of about 24 discs w/ 5 being the Symphonies (Howard Shelley, Hyperion) - listening to my small number of String Quartets/Quintets (he wrote 36 Quartets & 7 Quintets) - at present, I own just the 4 CDs shown on the top below (Marco Polo & Naxos labels) - yesterday, I visited BRO and was able to pick up the 4 CDs on the bottom row for a total of $19 (plus modest S/H) - obviously a lot of String Quartets missing in the middle of the Marco Polo (MP) series, many available on Amazon, but not cheap; curious if Naxos might have a plan to box up all of these which would amount to just under two dozen total discs? 

Also interestingly, many of these MP discs were recorded in the early 1990s or thereabouts - no newer string groups and/or labels seem to have 'taken up the mantle' for 'new' recordings, and maybe none will?  Now, there are plenty of reviews that I've perused the last few days, some quite good and others rather dismissive of this aspect of Spohr's oeuvre - have not attached any (there are many!).  Dave :)
.
     

       

Offline SergeCpp

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Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
« Reply #99 on: May 22, 2020, 08:03:28 AM »
...listening to my small number of String Quartets/Quintets (he wrote 36 Quartets & 7 Quintets) - at present, I own just the 4 CDs...
I've listened all 36+7 + 4 doubles many times, just sequentially (I even slept under them...). Some months ago YouTube had uploaded all the 36 Quartets. They (all 17 volumes) can be found by this search.

These days I'm re-listening (or about to) the 7 Piano Trios and 2 Piano Quintets.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 08:05:12 AM by SergeCpp »
There is a strangeness in simple things.