GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: SonicMan46 on April 12, 2007, 05:54:33 PM

Title: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 12, 2007, 05:54:33 PM
Just acquired some new Spohr CDs (shown earlier in the listening thread & again below) - this will basically be a continuation of a thread from the old GMG forum started by Gurn - check HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2786.0.html) - plenty of bio information & CD recommendations.  Spohr was a violin virtuoso and considered one of the 'greats' in the early 19th century - he was respected similarily as a composer.  I've been listening to most of these compositions yesterday & today, and all are just wonderful - the Piano Trios are excellent (and a great 3-CD bargin).   :)

Also, check out the Favorite Musical Period Thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,36.40.html) for my listing of these Gurnian Period transitional composers, many of which wrote a lot of excellent music - there are plenty of threads that exist on the old forum, which should probably be started in the new format; thus, the initiation of this new Spohr thread is hopefully just the beginning.   ;D

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/520/524434.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/200/209934.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/580/587399.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/320/329992.jpg)

Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: hornteacher on April 12, 2007, 05:58:29 PM
Let's not forget the wonderful 8th Violin Concerto recorded by: um.......now what was her name.......its on the tip of my tongue.......

Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Mark G. Simon on April 13, 2007, 04:45:37 AM
..now what was her name.......its on the tip of my tongue.......

You wish she was at the tip of your tongue...
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: arkiv on December 31, 2010, 03:27:04 AM
Very idiomatic clarinet concertos.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Dax on December 31, 2010, 03:35:46 AM
There's some very attractive chamber music such as the Octet (less so the Nonet) and the Double Quartets.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 31, 2010, 06:56:40 AM
Well, the 'Old Forum' is up again!  8)  Check out the link in the OP of this thread - 4 pages on Spohr w/ many CD recommendations for those interested -
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 15, 2012, 02:46:44 AM
Very interesting, but what do folks think of the symphonies? And if one is deciding between the nearly complete Hyperion cycle and the not yet complete CPO cycle, is there a preferance?
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Holden on February 15, 2012, 03:24:18 AM
..and there is this - the only recording I believe

Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 16, 2012, 05:37:55 AM
Don't everyone rush to post their favorite Spohr symphony now. The thread couldn't take it! :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 16, 2012, 07:19:53 AM
Hi Neal et al - some interesting posts lately.  Interestingly, in reviewing the thread on the 'old' forum, Donald Isler actually left a post! He was a GMG member but from reviewing this stats he joined in December 2007 and was active for just 2 months?

At present I have nearly 2 dozen Spohr discs but only one of his symphonies (Nos. 4/5 w/ Shelley - Hyperion is to release their last of 5 CDs of these works next month).  Out of interest I did listen to my sole symphony CD yesterday - pleasant music w/ some delightful wind writing - enjoy his chamber music more - will I require any more symphonies?  Well don't know at the moment - I guess if Hyperion put all 5 discs into an inexpensive box I might consider a purchase.  OTOH, if others 'chime in' w/ more positive comments, I could easily change my mind - will also be looking on BRO for bargain prices in the near future!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Bulldog on February 16, 2012, 01:41:23 PM
At present I have nearly 2 dozen Spohr discs but only one of his symphonies (Nos. 4/5 w/ Shelley - Hyperion is to release their last of 5 CDs of these works next month). 

That got me interested in how many Spohr recordings I've accumulated over the years - added them up and it's 42.  Most are of chamber works with a few discs of the symphonies, concertos and operas.  I've always liked Spohr's music and very much enjoy the excellent composers who bridged the period between the classical and romantic eras (including Reicha and Hummel).  I just happened to get back into classical music when Marco Polo was issuing all those string quartet recordings.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 16, 2012, 02:55:29 PM
That got me interested in how many Spohr recordings I've accumulated over the years - added them up and it's 42.  Most are of chamber works with a few discs of the symphonies, concertos and operas.  I've always liked Spohr's music and very much enjoy the excellent composers who bridged the period between the classical and romantic eras (including Reicha and Hummel).  I just happened to get back into classical music when Marco Polo was issuing all those string quartet recordings.

Hi Don - you have quite a collection!  Just curious about how many of those Marco Polo SQ discs you own and what are your thoughts on the performances/sound recording?  I just have Vol. 6 which dates from 1991, but would like to acquire more, and there are a lot (the guy composed at least 3 dozen SQs as I recall) - thanks for any comments on this series (or other performances of these works you may own) - Dave :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 17, 2012, 11:34:49 PM
Hi Don - you have quite a collection!  Just curious about how many of those Marco Polo SQ discs you own and what are your thoughts on the performances/sound recording?  I just have Vol. 6 which dates from 1991, but would like to acquire more, and there are a lot (the guy composed at least 3 dozen SQs as I recall) - thanks for any comments on this series (or other performances of these works you may own) - Dave :)
Some guidance on where to start or which are particularly good would be a nice bonus. There are ideas in the old thread, but that is now several years old and perphaps things have changed or new versions have been released.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 18, 2012, 07:41:35 AM
Hi Neal - not sure 'how many' Spohr discs you own currently, but the recordings below would certainly be a good start for his non-symphonic compositions; the MDG package has 2 discs, clarinet recording one, the Piano Trio box 3, and the Violin Concertos 6 - this comprises just over half of which I own currently and all recommended.

Hopefully, Don will return w/ further comments - Dave :)


(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/520/524434.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/200/209934.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/580/587399.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/320/329992.jpg)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Bulldog on February 18, 2012, 08:36:11 AM
Hi Don - you have quite a collection!  Just curious about how many of those Marco Polo SQ discs you own and what are your thoughts on the performances/sound recording?  I just have Vol. 6 which dates from 1991, but would like to acquire more, and there are a lot (the guy composed at least 3 dozen SQs as I recall) - thanks for any comments on this series (or other performances of these works you may own) - Dave :)

I have Vols. 1-12 of the Marco Polo SQ series; I like them all and have no trouble recommending them. 

For those starting out, I'd go with the Piano Trios set on CPO.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 18, 2012, 11:39:04 AM
I have Vols. 1-12 of the Marco Polo SQ series; I like them all and have no trouble recommending them. 
Are there 1 or 2 that are particularly good? I was thinking of volume #6 (Op 58/1-2) or #8 (op 45/2-3) in the series.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Bulldog on February 18, 2012, 09:39:33 PM
Are there 1 or 2 that are particularly good? I was thinking of volume #6 (Op 58/1-2) or #8 (op 45/2-3) in the series.

Well, any of the first 9 volumes should be equally rewarding; those are played superbly by the New Budapest Quartet.  Starting with Vol. 10, a different and lower quality group is used.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Dax on February 25, 2012, 03:47:31 AM
I'm not knowledgable about Spohr. What little I've heard has made me suspect that the chamber music may be the most attractive, but perhaps I'm wrong. I've always regarded the Octet as a first-rate work but find the Nonet disappointing in comparison. Which 2 or 3 works (and I do mean just 2 or 3) would convince me that he is more than a one-hit wonder?
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 25, 2012, 09:07:19 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! :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XRKabfd1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 26, 2012, 05:33:04 AM
I downloaded two Spohr symphonies yesterday & I must admit I really DO like them. So,I might be adding a post,or two, to this thread soon! :)
Lovely music! I downloaded 3 & 6,incidentally.Very relaxing,just right for a Sunday afternoon (or any other time,really!). Spohr's orchestration is so sprightly & uncluttered,it just seems to swoop along;also,unlike some supposedly superior symphonists I can think of,his movements are never too long,he knows just when to stop. Not saying he's up there with the greats,but I'm still impressed!
Can't wait to hear more!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 26, 2012, 05:53:12 AM
Not having any more Spohr symphonies I have loaded two other 19thc symphonies by another 'also ran' I like,Franz Lachner. Namely,Lachner's 'massive' 5th & his 8th (his No1 is in the post!). Annoying,that my Lachner symphony collection has to forcibly (feels like it! :()terminate at 1,5 & 8! : Are his other symphonies extant & if not,isn't anyone interested in recording them at all? :(
Fuchs is another one! :( But,at least there's a little more on offer!

All these  :( :( :( :('s! Still,at least there are plenty of Spohr symphonies to explore!

PS: I like Raff too!!! :) who's fairly well served on cd,now. Thank you,Tudor! :)


Despite all this resurgance of interest in neglected composers,there do seem to be certain areas of classical music in which the record labels have little or zero interest! :((another :(!)

And another one!!!! :(
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 26, 2012, 06:08:42 AM
I downloaded two Spohr symphonies yesterday & I must admit I really DO like them. So,I might be adding a post,or two, to this thread soon! :)
Lovely music! I downloaded 3 & 6,incidentally.Very relaxing,just right for a Sunday afternoon (or any other time,really!). Spohr's orchestration is so sprightly & uncluttered,it just seems to swoop along;also,unlike some supposedly superior symphonists I can think of,his movements are never too long,he knows just when to stop. Not saying he's up there with the greats,but I'm still impressed!
Can't wait to hear more!
Which ones?

Not having any more Spohr symphonies I have loaded two other 19thc symphonies by another 'also ran' I like,Franz Lachner. Namely,Lachner's 'massive' 5th & his 8th (his No1 is in the post!). Annoying,that my Lachner symphony collection has to forcibly (feels like it! :()terminate at 1,5 & 8! : Are his other symphonies extant & if not,isn't anyone interested in recording them at all? :(
Fuchs is another one! :( But,at least there's a little more on offer!

All these  :( :( :( :('s! Still,at least there are plenty of Spohr symphonies to explore!

PS: I like Raff too!!! :) who's fairly well served on cd,now. Thank you,Tudor! :)
(PPS: Kalliwoda's (Kalivoda) another good 'un!)

Despite all this resurgance of interest in neglected composers,there do seem to be certain areas of classical music in which the record labels have little or zero interest! :((another :(!)

And another one!!!! :(
Fuchs probably gets a :) since there is at least some activity on the recording side (Serenades less than a year ago was released on Naxos). But Lachner seems to be dead in the water (a deserved :(). At least the Spohr projects did not stop mid-stream. Very happy they completed the Hyperion cycle - at least one is now available! :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 26, 2012, 08:23:30 AM
By the way,I'm happy to admit when I'm wrong! I 'crossed swords' with you over the merits of Stanford & Wetz,a while back. I recently gave the Stanford & Wetz symphonies another hearing,this time using the program button,to concentrate wholly upon them. Can't understand why I didn't like the Stanford symphonies! More fool me! Wonderful music! I really DID enjoy them! :) As to Wetz! Again,I enjoyed No's 2 & 3,this time around. Not so sure about No1,yet. I must try again,but wonder if it could be the playing?

The opening movement of Lachner's Fifth has a wonderful,majestic theme. Hard to understand it's neglect,imho,of course! No 8 is very nice too,but I need to listen more (it's on the cd changer,now). The suites are supposed to be good.
The two Spohr symphonies are wonderful. They have an athletic lithe & grace. I am very impressed! But others may disagree,of course!

The recent Naxos of Fuchs 'Serenades' is getting some very enthusiastic reviews,so the incentive is there for them to,hopefully,record more. I notice,his symphonies are on the Thorofon label. Despite,some negative comments,the excerpts I've heard sound no worse than some of the dodgier Marco Polo performances I've heard (if not better!).
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Dax on February 26, 2012, 08:54:22 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 did give the 3rd Double Quartet a spin today and while finding it very pleasant, can't say I found it 1st class . . .
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 26, 2012, 10:17:57 AM
I did give the 3rd Double Quartet a spin today and while finding it very pleasant, can't say I found it 1st class . . .

Well, nothing wrong w/ very pleasant; often just what I am in the mood to hear -  :D
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 26, 2012, 05:48:25 PM
Bought two Spohr cds off MDT for £2.75 each. The less groovy Marco Polo jobs,I'm afraid. Hopefully,I won't get an email saying they've been sold (stock clearance,to be fair.They do say!),unlike the Lachner symphonies I 'bought',which included the deleted & pricey (from sellers) Fifth! (I got my 'copies' as downloads).
More Lachner please,someone! (Come on cpo!!!!)
Terrible grammar,but it's late!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 27, 2012, 01:49:17 AM
By the way,I'm happy to admit when I'm wrong! I 'crossed swords' with you over the merits of Stanford & Wetz,a while back. I recently gave the Stanford & Wetz symphonies another hearing,this time using the program button,to concentrate wholly upon them. Can't understand why I didn't like the Stanford symphonies! More fool me! Wonderful music! I really DID enjoy them! :) As to Wetz! Again,I enjoyed No's 2 & 3,this time around. Not so sure about No1,yet. I must try again,but wonder if it could be the playing?

The opening movement of Lachner's Fifth has a wonderful,majestic theme. Hard to understand it's neglect,imho,of course! No 8 is very nice too,but I need to listen more (it's on the cd changer,now). The suites are supposed to be good.
The two Spohr symphonies are wonderful. They have an athletic lithe & grace. I am very impressed! But others may disagree,of course!

The recent Naxos of Fuchs 'Serenades' is getting some very enthusiastic reviews,so the incentive is there for them to,hopefully,record more. I notice,his symphonies are on the Thorofon label. Despite,some negative comments,the excerpts I've heard sound no worse than some of the dodgier Marco Polo performances I've heard (if not better!).
Re: Stanford and Wetz - glad you gave them another chance. Isn't it strange how that can happen? It is especially mystifying when one can't figure out why one  didn't like it in the first place. I know that if I start with a work that I liked less in a set - that can sometimes set the wrong tone for the rest.

Did you post which Spohr symphonies you had listened to? I seem to have missed that. Have you heard the symphonies of Ries or Onslow? You might like those too.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: kentel on February 27, 2012, 02:17:26 PM
I've listened to all the violin concertos that I could find (combining CPO + Marco Polo I got everything but the 5th and the 10th). Stylistically it's the missing link between Viotti and Brahms - if one should consider that there's a missing link between Viotti and Brahms, which is a debattable question.

However, this "post-classical" style, sometimes excessively complicated with it's endless modulations and its intricate melodic lines, excessively urbane and shallow too, but I've to admitt that some of these concertos are really gripping. That's at least the case of the 1, 2, 4, 7 & 9 (all in minor keys, if I remember well). The others are brilliant, but often rather hollow. Actually, the older he grew, the hollower his music became.

I also enjoyed the 4 clarinet concertos, but I think that this ever-modulating language fits perfectly the velvet-like sound of the instrument (I noticed the same with Reger's clarinet sonatas). On the contrary, I'm not fond of the symphonies: heavily influenced by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and even sometimes Stamitz for the melodic themes, they lack of personality and of interesting thematic ideas. But I still havn't heard the 2,4,7 & 8.

Now I see that he has written 36 string quartets, and they've all been recorded...
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 27, 2012, 03:27:07 PM
I personally enjoyed the symphonies I downloaded,but only time will tell whether they will be something I will be making repeat visits to. But I found his orchestration sprightly and bracing. So far,anyway! I ordered two more from the MDT stock clearance & like the Lachner cds.I might get that email telling me that they're sold out! :(
However,I put on some of the earlier Schubert symphonies later and,I must admit, the hummable tunes really do make a difference!
I need to listen to some more before I finally make my mind up. I DO like some of these minor 19th symphonists. Raff is another one,but more romantic,with his forests,ghosts and wood spirits. I really can't understand anyone who puts him up there with Mendelssohn,let alone Berlioz;but he is a very colourful orchestrator & No's 4,3,5,8 & 9,at any rate, are lovely symphonies.
The Lachner 5th has a 'knockout' theme in the first movement. It is so majestic & I can't understand why Marco Polo's didn't do a cycle. Having said that,I have only heard No 8 (No 1 is in the post! :)) & maybe the scores are not extant,or,they just aren't as good!!! :(
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: eyeresist on February 27, 2012, 04:00:55 PM

Cilgwyn, let us know how your exploration of Lachner goes. He sounds a "likely prospect".
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 27, 2012, 04:09:54 PM
To be honest,I'm just a listener,but that theme in the horns,brass (whatever you call it!) in the first theme of Lachner's Fifth is truly outstanding for a supposedly minor composer. Did he just strike it lucky,like the compositional equivalent of a win on the old football pools? I MUST know more! WOW! :)
  I'd kill* to hear that movement performed by a really front rank orchestra & conductor!

Metaphorically speaking,I should add! ;D
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 28, 2012, 05:02:32 AM
Picked up the older Scimone set of Clementi symphonies for around £2,on Amazon. It popped through the letterbox today. Enjoying this,immensely. I expect someone will tell me about the ASV set,if they read this. I have read the reviews & I may graduate at some point,but I'm trying to budget at the moment. My old copy of the Penguin guide gives this set an enthusiastic review,but I know that the ASV performances are supposed to be superior & they're on the Brilliant label (a box set!) now,arent they. (ASV cds are usually fairly cheap,but I won't look yet,or I'll start spending again!( Perhaps next month?!!!)
These sound pretty good to me! :) Lovely,actually! :) :) :)
  And why Clementi in a Spohr thread? My sole excuse. He's another also ran from another era,but judging by what I'm hearing,not bad at all! Also,I'm still in suspense. Will MDT cough up those stock clearance Spohr cds,or not? ::)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 28, 2012, 05:18:36 AM
Picked up the older Scimone set of Clementi symphonies for around £2,on Amazon. It popped through the letterbox today. Enjoying this,immensely. I expect someone will tell me about the ASV set,if they read this. I have read the reviews & I may graduate at some point,but I'm trying to budget at the moment. My old copy of the Penguin guide gives this set an enthusiastic review,but I know that the ASV performances are supposed to be superior & they're on the Brilliant label (a box set!) now,arent they. (ASV cds are usually fairly cheap,but I won't look yet,or I'll start spending again!( Perhaps next month?!!!)
These sound pretty good to me! :) Lovely,actually! :) :) :)
  And why Clementi in a Spohr thread? My sole excuse. He's another also ran from another era,but judging by what I'm hearing,not bad at all! Also,I'm still in suspense. Will MDT cough up those stock clearance Spohr cds,or not? ::)
I like those Scimone/Clementi CDs, and getting something that good for so little is a definite score. I would not worry about other recordings - you've got a good one.

Let us know if those Spohr cd's come through. I have a few on the wishlist, but may convert to purchase next month (if they still have them). Next month - sounds so far away, but it starts Thursday!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 28, 2012, 05:31:24 AM
The opening movement of Lachner's Fifth has a wonderful,majestic theme. Hard to understand it's neglect,imho,of course!

To be honest,I'm just a listener,but that theme in the horns,brass (whatever you call it!) in the first theme of Lachner's Fifth is truly outstanding for a supposedly minor composer.

Sounds interesting (your description plus clips at Amazon). I'll order it.

Sarge
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 28, 2012, 05:57:34 AM
It is available as a download,but I gather you don't like them. The Lachner,be warned is only available s/h & high prices have been asked,at least, on uk sites.
  Going back to the music,I like what I've heard of Franz Lachner....so far;but it just struck me that the theme in the first movement is a bit of a plum! It set me thinking,is he a genuinely unfairly neglected composer,who deserves a better ranking than he gets,as opposed to an interesting (in my opinion) also ran? Or is the theme in the first movement of the fifth just a taste of more hidden,unrecorded,nuggets?
Or was it just a fluke? That theme sounds suspiciously TOO good for an also ran? Did he just hit gold,once? And what would a truly great composer have been able to do with a theme like that? In fact I had to turn it off after a while,because I WAS SINGING ALONG WITH THE THEME AT THE TOP OF MY VOICE!!! :o (Don't want to upset the neighbours!)
  Also,knowing how some of those old Marco Polo performances were,I can't help wondering what it would sound like if it was performed by a really first rate orchestra & conductor?
  Not sure if the rest is as good as that first movement. I like the rest,but it's the first movement & that theme (tune) that really grabbed me! And,it's very catchy,as,I fear,the neighbours may (already) know!!!! :o

NB With you're military background,it sounds as if I might be in trouble if you don't like it! :o :(
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 28, 2012, 07:02:21 AM
I like those Scimone/Clementi CDs, and getting something that good for so little is a definite score. I would not worry about other recordings - you've got a good one.

Let us know if those Spohr cd's come through. I have a few on the wishlist, but may convert to purchase next month (if they still have them). Next month - sounds so far away, but it starts Thursday!
I should point out,the MDT stock clearance items appear to go VERY quickly! I ordered two Lachner cds (Syms 5 & 8,which I have as cd-r's).Feeling very pleased with myself for getting them at £2.75 each,so I was dismayed to receive an email telling me that they were unavailable!
  I'm hoping I will be luckier with the Spohr cds (Syms 1 & 5,3 & 6). I notice they are still up on the MDT site. (The Lachner's have now been removed).
  Having them on an actual cd proper,will enable me to play them on my usual cd player & give them a more thorough listen. So far,while I'd be the last person to claim that they are neglected masterpieces,I like what I've heard. I must admit,I do have a penchance for this kind of repertory,so maybe I'm a bit softer when it comes to 'also rans',than some people!
  Mahler 2 on now. I don't JUST listen to obscurities! ;D
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: kentel on February 28, 2012, 10:43:44 AM
I DO like some of these minor 19th symphonists. Raff is another one,but more romantic,with his forests,ghosts and wood spirits. I really can't understand anyone who puts him up there with Mendelssohn,let alone Berlioz;but he is a very colourful orchestrator & No's 4,3,5,8 & 9,at any rate, are lovely symphonies.

Raff is a very interesting symphonist, very flowing and distanciated and, as you said, very colourful, almost post-romantic in a romantic context (the 9 symphonies were composed between 1861 and 1878, and think that Brahms' first is only from 76 !).

But my favorite minor 19th century  symphonist is probably Carl Reinecke.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 28, 2012, 12:31:10 PM
It is available as a download,but I gather you don't like them.

No, I'm old school. I prefer to clutter up my house with many glittery, plastic objects  ;D

The Lachner,be warned is only available s/h & high prices have been asked,at least, on uk sites.

I found a used copy in like new condition for 8 Euro from the German Amazon marketplace.

Sarge
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 28, 2012, 02:40:00 PM
Glad you got a reasonable price! :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 28, 2012, 04:47:02 PM
Regarding the Lachner 5. I am of course,referring to the second theme,that is first heard at approx 6:00 in to the first movement.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 28, 2012, 05:29:39 PM
.........
Let us know if those Spohr cd's come through. I have a few on the wishlist, but may convert to purchase next month (if they still have them). Next month - sounds so far away, but it starts Thursday!

Thanks Neal - not to really complain but this thread on Spohr has wandered off to other composers - I'm sure there may be other threads to make these non-Spohr contributions or ones that could be started?

So, just a subtle suggestion to keep the topic of Louis S. regardless of your feelings about his music - just makes the tread an easier read for those wanting information on this composer - thanks - Dave :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 28, 2012, 05:47:23 PM
Another subtle suggestion,if we keep it TOO rigid it'll be a pretty dull thread! I think it really depends how far you digress. 'Conversations' flow unless you're Adolf Hitler. It just depends how far it goes. I mentioned Lachner & Sgt Rock was interested,so I helped him out,hopefully,anyway? ::) And this IS a forum,after all,not Groves Dictionary! Thank god for the democracy of the Havergal Brian thread!!!
But point taken! ;D

Back to Spohr!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 29, 2012, 03:33:38 AM
Actually,it was wandering a bit! ??? ::) ;D
  Still no sign of those MDT stock clearance Spohr cds! :(

Theories as to why I am still waiting!                                                         
1) MDT employ a team of Brazilian Sloths
2) They are trying to think of a way to break the news that the Spohr cds have been sold without upsetting me too much.
3) They have strapped my Spohr cds to the back of a large garden snail with a good sense of direction & with a bit of luck it'll arrive in time for Xmas.
4) I'm just an impatient b******!

No news is good news! :( :( :( :( :(

Stop Press! All good things come to those who wait!!! :)

 Email from MDT at 14.47 : Order Despatched!

£7.00p for two new Marco Polo Spohr cds as £2.75 each (+ P&P...)
 (Symphonies 1 & 5,3 & 6) Not bad,eh?

....hopefully NOT using that snail!!! :o

Better be b**** good!!! >:( ;D

Kalliwoda's Symphonies 5 & 6 on a the moment! Ssssshhh!This is a Spohr thread!!!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Scion7 on February 29, 2012, 04:41:40 AM
I enjoy Spohr's music, too.
This was a guy I just got into the past couple of years.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on September 28, 2012, 11:23:20 AM
In the last week or so,I have bought some more Spohr symphony cds. The old Marco Polo one's,I'm afraid! :( I'm just not so sure about Spohr that I want to splash out on the pricier Hyperion cd's,although,if I start to really like Spohr the symphonist,I will certainly consider forking out. Having said that,I DO like the 3rd (which was the catalyst for my current renewal of interest) & wanting to hear No 4,which is supposed to be one of the best,I now have the Hyperion cd of No's 4 & 5 (which is also also,apparently,one of the best!) on order!
So,I now have the following Spohr symphony cds:

Symphonies 1 & 5 Marco Polo
        "          3 & 6 Marco Polo
        "          7 & 8 Marco Polo
Symphony No 2 (+ Lachner No 1) MP
Symphonies 4 & 5 Hyperion  (on order!)

I got a bit of a suprise when I put on No 7! For a moment I thought the seller had inserted a cd of chamber music by mistake! :o. Of course,I looked at the cd & the booklet & realised that Spohr composed this for 'two' orchestras. One for eleven instruments,representing 'the divine',and the other for full orchestra,representing 'the human'!

'The Hurwitz',as some refer to him,thinks Spohr symphonies all sound the same & I know he has his detractors (Hurwitz too!!)! ;D But,the man was once considered very highly,he certainly has some fervent admirers & there are Spohr societies;so he is an intriguing puzzle! And I DO like musical puzzles!
Of course,I may end up agreeing with Hurwitz :o :( & I'm not sure if he hasn't actually got a point about one or two,or more of them! But I DO like No 3 & No's 5 & 6 are a very relaxing listen,especially late at night!
If I was wealthier than I currently am >:( ;D I would have bought all the Hyperion recordings;but as I said,I'm not really sure he's worth splashing out that much yet! ::)
I DO like his 3rd though! Parts of it,certainly, stay in my head. The orchestration seems to chuckle along! :) No 6,which,so far,is the one I think I like best after No3,is very lithe & athletic. The orchestration seems to sweep you along.
Anyway,a bit of busking outside Tesco & I might,hopefully, get to hear some more of those nice Hyperion recordings!

Now where are my spoons? :(

 
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on September 28, 2012, 11:46:35 AM
Following on from my previous post;according to a reviewer on Amazon,there is very little to choose between the performances of the 3rd & 6th on the MP & Hyperion labels. Hopefully,he's right! Looking at all the reviews I have been able to look at,while the Hyperion recordings are clearly front runners now,if you are at all interested in these symphonies ;D;the older Marco Polo recordings do seem to come out fairly well. Having said that,it would be nice to hear the newer ones as well!
Curiously,I can't seem to find that many reviews of the cpo cycle! Though there are a few.

Now back to that 'chuckling' third! :)

Also,in my post today. Rubinstein's Fourth symphony. The catalyst? The Marco Polo recording of his First,which I really DO enjoy. I also admit to liking his 'Ocean Symphony' & have done,ever since I borrowed the old Vox Turnabout Lp from Haverfordwest library,all those long years ago! :o :( Incidentally,my cds of No's 2 & 4 are conducted by Golovchin on Russian Disc & are,according to various sources,the best of a not too wonderful lot!  No's 3 & 5 are in the post!
Anyway,I'm off topic now,arent I?!! :o ;D

Back to that Spohr 3!!

Listening to the 3rd now! I DO,definately,like this one! The orchestration is lovely. As I said,it just seems to chuckle it's way along & unlike some of those Marco Polo recordings,it doesn't suffer from that wierd cramped,boxy sound. Very good for MP,actually,imho! Nice....unless you find Spohr terminally boring,of course! ;D

Whoa! I really AM enoying his 3rd! :) The Finale,in particular,just zips along. But will I get to like any of his others as much?!!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 28, 2012, 12:48:50 PM
WOW - a blast from the past!  :D

I've not added any more Spohr to my collection since an earlier post; still just have the one symphony CD w/ Shelley (i.e. Nos. 4/5) - but I see that he has recorded all 10 of the works on Hyperion - will they come out w/ a box soon? 

Cilgwyn - will be curious upon arrival of your comparison of No. 5 on Marco Polo vs. Shelley?  I'd like to acquire some more of these symphonic works, so will await your assessment and also hope that Shelley is put into a BOX!   ;D  Dave
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on September 28, 2012, 12:57:53 PM
In addition to symphonies 1,2,4,5 on Hyperion (both discs enjoyed quite highly, but cannot compare to the MP, which I never heard) and a volume of string quartets/Quintets each (both on Naxos/MP), I added the two below (just ripped them both yesterday!):




Both seem quite promising!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 28, 2012, 03:01:12 PM
In addition to symphonies 1,2,4,5 on Hyperion (both discs enjoyed quite highly, but cannot compare to the MP, which I never heard) and a volume of string quartets/Quintets each (both on Naxos/MP), I added the two below (just ripped them both yesterday!):
Both seem quite promising!

Hi Neal - can only comment on the 2nd CD, i.e. the Gaudier Ensemble are excellent in these works - hope that your enjoy!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 28, 2012, 03:08:04 PM
In addition to symphonies 1,2,4,5 on Hyperion (both discs enjoyed quite highly, but cannot compare to the MP, which I never heard) and a volume of string quartets/Quintets each (both on Naxos/MP), I added the two below (just ripped them both yesterday!):



Neal,
I've had that Gaudier/Hyperion for years. It's outstanding, particularly the Octet which is one of my favorite large chamber pieces. You must give it a listen!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on September 28, 2012, 03:59:18 PM
Oh good,some very interesting replies! Unfortunately,it's 01.39 here,so I'm going to have to leave it for now! Funny,I posted here a while back,didn't I,then I stopped! I quite liked what I heard,but I couldn't really get any further than that! Then,a couple of days ago,I dug out Rubinstein's First Symphony. Not exactly anyone's favourite,even if they like his music. But I suddenly started liking it.........so I ordered some more Rubinstein (No's 3 & 5,are on the way!) Then,I thought,what other neglected,once famous composer,who wrote symphonies do I need to investigate a little further? The next minute I was ordering s/h copies of 1 & 5,then 7 & 8. Then,I put on the cd of No's 3 & 6. Suddenly,it 'clicked' with me. This time I really AM absolutely hooked! It seems to me that once you finally 'crack one',all the others start to mysteriously open up!!
The Hyperion of 4 & 5,is on order! As to the Marco Polo recordings. Unlike,some of those Marco Polo cds,they do have a lovely,clean sound,the orchestra sounds lithe & graceful,athletic & fleet footed at times,and as far as I can make out,most of the reviews are generally positive,even if the Hyperion cds are the favourites now. I notice that they seem to be preferred to the cpo recordings,in some reviews?

Okay,I'm going to get ready for bed now!!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 28, 2012, 04:12:58 PM
Oh good,some very interesting replies! Unfortunately,it's 01.39 here,so I'm going to have to leave it for now! Funny,I posted here a while back,didn't I,then I stopped! I quite liked what I heard,but I couldn't really get any further than that! Then,a couple of days ago,I dug out Rubinstein's First Symphony. Not exactly anyone's favourite,even if they like his music. But I suddenly started liking it.........so I ordered some more Rubinstein (No's 3 & 5,are on the way!) Then,I thought,what other neglected,once famous composer,who wrote symphonies do I need to investigate a little further? The next minute I was ordering s/h copies of 1 & 5,then 7 & 8. Then,I put on the cd of No's 3 & 6. Suddenly,it 'clicked' with me. This time I really AM absolutely hooked! It seems to me that once you finally 'crack one',all the others start to mysteriously open up!!
The Hyperion of 4 & 5,is on order! As to the Marco Polo recordings. Unlike,some of those Marco Polo cds,they do have a lovely,clean sound,the orchestra sounds lithe & graceful,athletic & fleet footed at times,and as far as I can make out,most of the reviews are generally positive,even if the Hyperion cds are the favourites now. I notice that they seem to be preferred to the cpo recordings,in some reviews?

Okay,I'm going to get ready for bed now!!

cilgwyn,

I am interested in your symphony listening adventure. I have nearly all of Spohr's chamber music, plus the violin concertos, but have yet to hear a single symphony. If the Hyperion ones are the best of the lot though, I shall give them some serious consideration. Thanks for bringing this topic back up. :)

8)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on September 29, 2012, 04:10:38 AM
Thanks Gurn! I'll be back for more after some ham,carrots,peas & parsley sauce! :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on September 29, 2012, 07:51:34 AM
After that plate of ham,carrots,peas & parsley sauce, I  listened to his Fifth symphony on repeat,for a few hours. My immeadiate response? What not to like?!! I then moved onto the Seventh Symphony. This one is very curiously orchestrated,indeed ??? & while it shows that Spohr certainly had some very interesting ideas buzzing around in his head,I'm not sure that this one really works! The main problem,as far as I can make out? It just doesn't seem to have many memorable ideas,if any! In fact,I'm not sure if I can really tell one bit from the other,or even remember any of it all,after I've finished listening to it! :( I just wonder if the Hyperion improves on it? Still,at least it doesn't go on for 65 minutes,like Rubinstein's Fourth. If you're one of those people who think that Spohr symphonies are short of memorable ideas,try sitting through every second of Rubinstein's 'Dramatic',then put on Spohr's 3rd or 4th! After that,Spohr is a marvel of concision. You'll love him even more! :)

I honestly now feel the third is a really good symphony. Spohr's third symphony at the Proms! Why not? Full of tunes & good humour.A wonderful score! I love it! (I like Rubinstein,at his best,but Spohr's VERY 'deep' by comparison!) The critics would tear it to pieces,of course! :(
After that it's got to be No 5,then No 6 & well,I'm still working on the others! No 4 is supposed to be one of the best. Hopefully,it'll get posted soon! I NEED to know!!! ::)


Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on September 29, 2012, 11:21:52 AM
After that plate of ham,carrots,peas & parsley sauce, I  listened to his Fifth symphony on repeat,for a few hours. My immeadiate response? What not to like?!! I then moved onto the Seventh Symphony. This one is very curiously orchestrated,indeed ??? & while it shows that Spohr certainly had some very interesting ideas buzzing around in his head,I'm not sure that this one really works! The main problem,as far as I can make out? It just doesn't seem to have many memorable ideas,if any! In fact,I'm not sure if I can really tell one bit from the other,or even remember any of it all,after I've finished listening to it! :( I just wonder if the Hyperion improves on it? Still,at least it doesn't go on for 65 minutes,like Rubinstein's Fourth. If you're one of those people who think that Spohr symphonies are short of memorable ideas,try sitting through every second of Rubinstein's 'Dramatic',then put on Spohr's 3rd or 4th! After that,Spohr is a marvel of concision. You'll love him even more! :)

I honestly now feel the third is a really good symphony. Spohr's third symphony at the Proms! Why not? Full of tunes & good humour.A wonderful score! I love it! (I like Rubinstein,at his best,but Spohr's VERY 'deep' by comparison!) The critics would tear it to pieces,of course! :(
After that it's got to be No 5,then No 6 & well,I'm still working on the others! No 4 is supposed to be one of the best. Hopefully,it'll get posted soon! I NEED to know!!! ::)

We'll be waiting. By the way, I enjoy Rubinstein's second symphony (ocean). That's quite nice.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on September 30, 2012, 06:41:16 AM
So do I! The opening is quite magical & the rest isn't too bad either! ;D It would be wonderful to hear it with a really first rate conductor & orchestra;but I can't see it happening in the near future! It's a bit uneven,I suppose,but the good ideas make up for it's failings! ! And it's a little sad,that such an enjoyable symphony is always doomed to second or third rate performances. Sad,but not a tragedy,however!  I rather wish they'd release the Vox recording with the Westphalian Orchestra,on cd. Maybe it wasn't the best version (?),but it was the first one I ever heard & fair play to Rubinstein,it made an impression on me. Not that it knocked me sideways,blew my mind,or anything like that;but I remembered it!
 Must say,I do rather like his First Symphony. It's a modest work,full of imaginative ideas & unlike some of his later,more ambitious symphonies,not too big for it's boots!!

Going back to the subject of this thread! ;D I'm afraid I can't make much headway with Spohr's Seventh & eighth symphonies. They are pleasant enough,but imo short of memorable ideas.
No 3 is a winner,though. The Fifth is very enjoyable & the Sixth,may be a little too experimental for it's own good,but it comes pretty close.
The Fourth is the one I need to hear the most. It is in the post,apparently,so hopefully I will hear it soon!
I notice Hyperion recording of No3 is paired,very conveniently,like the Marco Polo,with No 6! :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 30, 2012, 07:21:50 AM
Hi Cilgwyn - thanks for the commentary of the Spohr symphonies - I've been looking at a lot of reviews in the Fanfare Archive (just one quote below but the opinion seems to match that of others there), i.e. of the Spohr sets (Shelley on Hyperion, Griffiths on CPO, and Walter on Marco Polo), Shelley & Griffiths seen to be favored despite the MP discs being cheaper!

Also was checking the pricing on the Hyperion & CPO CDs on Amazon, Presto, & MDT - NO bargains available @ the moment, so will wait to see if Hyperion puts their 5 recordings into a box?  May be a LONG wait -  ;) ;D   Dave

Quote
As it turns out, both symphonies presented here have already been released in the parallel Spohr cycle by Howard Griffiths and the NDR Radio Philharmonic on cpo. Griffiths is more brilliant and dynamic in the first movement of Symphony No. 8, and is also considerably faster in the Finale. The deciding factor, though, is the Scherzo: Griffiths’s woodwinds play with a lighter touch, and in the Trio his violinist’s intonation is far better than Shelley’s in playing Spohr’s difficult solo part. Both new recordings easily surpass the old Marco Polo version by Alfred Walter; his cycle can now be honorably retired. In the 10th the comparison is more even; again Griffiths is more brisk in the outer movements, and I actually prefer Shelley’s tempos. The tie-breaker for some will be the fact that the cpo cycle is being released as SACDs. Otherwise it’s too close to call.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on September 30, 2012, 08:29:05 AM
Thanks for you're reply. Given the chance I'd certainly plump for Hyperion! You only have to think of their reputation v Marco Polo! I mean,it's nor rocket science,is it?! ;D Credit crunch issues aside :( I just didn't feel Spohr was a composer I wanted to spend a load of money on,so I thought I'd just 'dip my toe in the water' with a few more s/h Marco Polo cds! ;D Not the best way of going about things,I know ;D,but unlike,say,their pretty awful Tournemire symphony recordings,there wasn't enough to make me want to rush into buying pricey alternatives (Auvidis Valois,in Tournemire's case. I bought them all! :)). At the same time,this is a composer who IS undoubtedly,imho,intriguing! So,in the meantime,I have forked out on the Hyperion of the Fourth,which,as well as being,one I haven't heard,is also,from what I gather,supposedly,one of his best. It's also coupled with No 5,which as you know,is the one I have liked best (so far) after No 5. Anyway,the Marco Polo of No 4 was actually more expensive & the lowest offer was from a seller I always avoid like the plague!! :o
Interestingly,the Cpo 3rd is coupled with No10,which I haven't got & Griffiths is ,a highly respected conductor,judging by some of the reviews I've seen. And Cpo v Marco Polo?! Which would you prefer? ;D Having said that,maybe I'd be better off waiting that box set!!

Give a few weeks & I may be tempted to splash out on the Hyperion 3 & 6! On a positive note,the Marco Polo's appear to have been given decent recordings. Unlike some of their recordings which sounded like the performers were sealed in some kind of box!! :o

In all fairness to Marco Polo,I can remember a time,some years ago,when they were pioneers in allot of rare stuff. I can remember actually looking for their advert in Gramophone Magazine (when it was still a good read) & thinking," I wonder what they've brought out,this month?". Unfortunately,allot of their 'exciting' off the beaten track releases were of a frankly,poor,if not lousy standard & of course,these days,they've been superseded by infinitely superior releases from labels like Chandos,Hyperion & Cpo. But,I can still remember a feeling of excitement at some of their more esoteric releases.
Vox/ Turnabout was another one,all those long years ago! ;D
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on September 30, 2012, 09:05:04 AM
Of course,if I buy 3 & 6 it won't be (so) much point waiting for the box set! ::) :(
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 30, 2012, 03:16:31 PM
Of course,if I buy 3 & 6 it won't be (so) much point waiting for the box set! ::) :(

YES!  The quandary of buying or waiting - checked the Hyperion website later after my last post - seems to be no immediate 'future' releases listed for this set, so buy now or wait, I guess - I'll take a deep breath and wait until early next year - Dave
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 02, 2012, 04:55:41 AM
WOW - a blast from the past!  :D

I've not added any more Spohr to my collection since an earlier post; still just have the one symphony CD w/ Shelley (i.e. Nos. 4/5) - but I see that he has recorded all 10 of the works on Hyperion - will they come out w/ a box soon? 

Cilgwyn - will be curious upon arrival of your comparison of No. 5 on Marco Polo vs. Shelley?  I'd like to acquire some more of these symphonic works, so will await your assessment and also hope that Shelley is put into a BOX!   ;D  Dave
The eternal dilemma! Whether to wait for the box?!! The Spohr symphonies are a particular dilemma! Looking through alll the earlier posts & those on the old forum (nice to be able to 'dig' into that!) I HAVE now,not being a Spohr experts (to say the least) realised that his symphonies are more controversial than I thought. Unlike say,Raff for example,they are not regarded as being central to his work. Also,Spohr is obviously more highly regarded in respect to his chamber & instrumental output. In other words,I do get the feeling I've started from the wrong end really,haven't I? ::) A bit like being introduced to Schubert through his operatic output or....unfortunately,I can't think of another example! The opera's of Vaughan Williams? But they're actually pretty good (imho)!! For a later example,Dohnanyi! Reading various posts about that composer,I often get the feeling I should have heard his Sextet first!!!

Incidentally,when I first saw that sentence about hoping Shelley was put in a box,I must admit I fleetingly,wondered exactly what you meant! :o I thought,"Oh,poor old Howard Shelley,he's not that bad I'd want him dead!!!" :o But then I realised it was a joke!!! ;D ;D ;D

Currently,listening to Anton Rubinstein's third symphony & quite enjoying it,tut! tut!!! It's supposed to be crap!! ;D

                                 
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 02, 2012, 05:19:17 AM
The eternal dilemma! Whether to wait for the box?!! The Spohr symphonies are a particular dilemma...............I do get the feeling I've started from the wrong end really,haven't I? ..............

Incidentally,when I first saw that sentence about hoping Shelley was put in a box................

Currently,listening to Anton Rubinstein's third symphony & quite enjoying it,tut! tut!!! It's supposed to be crap!! ;D
                               

Well, I do like Spohr's chamber works (and his violin concertos); of the two dozen or so discs of his music in my collection, I believe the single symphony one was likely bought last (or nearly so) - concerning the 'box', I just meant whether Hyperion might box these Shelley recordings up at a good price, but one never knows?

Anton Rubinstein - no symphonies for me at the moment, so cannot make any comments; just own some solo piano works (Leslie Howard), a disc of cello chamber works, and a single piano concerto; however, looking on Amazon, I see a bunch of his symphonies by him mainly on the Marco Polo and Naxos labels w/ 3* to 5* reviews (the Naxos ones likely just MP redos?) - might be some good stuff there?  :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 02, 2012, 05:28:03 AM
I HAVE now....realised that his symphonies are more controversial than I thought.                     

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


Sarge
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Brian on October 02, 2012, 05:44:48 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?"
Audiences in the 1820s simply loved Spohr. I can't help wanting a particularly incisive HIP ensemble, like Das Neue Orchester, to come in and record some Spohr symphonies with all their inhibitions set aside and their horn players standing up...or something.  :D
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 02, 2012, 05:48:51 AM
Sarge: And I still feel guilty about overrating the Lachner Fifth! I feel like I owe you! But,I didn't expect you to buy it!!! :( I quite like that theme in the first movement,but it just goes on too long for it's own good & fair play to Schubert! He might have ACTUALLY been able to do SOMETHING with it!
  As to Spohr. I DO know what you mean! But in all fairness to Spohr,David Hurwitz?!!! :o I mean,come on! He's the one who thinks Havergal Brian enthusiasts are all bald,long haired Michael Foot look-a-likes with halitosis & hygiene issues!!! :o ;D ;D (So,that's why the postman runs off! ;D)Still,I'd go with the 3rd,if you can't resist the urge! I haven't heard the tenth,so I can't comment. I DO like the 3rd quite ALLOT,but judging by allot of posts here,even Spohr enthusiasts are not too sure about this side of his output! They all seem to centre around his chamber & instrumental output. As a newbie to Spohr,I DO get a strong feeling I've picked the wrong Spohr!! And,quite frankly,right now,I DO feel like that character in 'No way out!' Also,unfortunately for me,I DO quite like No's 5 & 6,as well!!! ;D :( :(
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 02, 2012, 05:57:31 AM
Incidentally Brian,I agree with you're post. It's like judging Tournemire's symphonies on those awful Marco Polo performances. And the AV ones weren't that much better,really! :(
Anyway,off topic! ::)

I've been listening to the Spohr symphonies for a few days & they're only really beginning to 'open up' now. Symphonies 7 & 8 are still a struggle,though! :(
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 02, 2012, 05:59:32 AM
Let me take a middle road. If you listen quickly to various clips, there is a sort of sameness to them. But I find some of the earlier syphonies quite refreshing (not in a experimental way, but just good music making). So if you do get anything, I think you would be happier to start with at least one of the first few symphonies.

And as you need no urging...um, err...where is that snyprrrr character when you need him! :)

Re: Rubinstein, you might try the second symphony on MDG label as a starting point (vol 2 orchestral works), though note that the Naxos and MDG are different versions of the same symphony.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 02, 2012, 06:16:35 AM
I'm really enjoying Rubinstein's third symphony,so maybe I'm just easily pleased. The final movement seems to end with a gong stroke. I'm wearing headphones & I was halfway down a staircase. I thought,"Whoa?! What's that!" Dangerous stuff,I could have been killed by a cd of Anton Rubinstein!!! (Rimsky-Korsakov,probably knew the feeling!)
Jon Leifs,eat you're heart out! ;D

Spohr,like Rubinstein,strikes me as an 'amiable' composer. If you're expecting anything very deep,or even quite deep,you're probably going to be disappointed. If you just take a symphony like No3 as what it is,lots of bubbly charm & some very bracing orchestration,you may actually like it!
Possibly?!! ::) ;D

I agree with you about excerpts,mc ukrneal. They're useful,but sometimes the sound quality & poorly chosen samples can be misleading. I was trying to listen to parts of an operetta recently & nearly all the samples chosen were 'talking bits'!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 02, 2012, 06:31:11 AM
Yes,the Rubinstein 3 DOES end with a gong stroke. Well,at least it sounds like one.Unless,somebody dropped something!! ;D Like the one at the beginning of those Rank movies,but better! :) The final 'pages' of this symphony are unexpectedly exciting & exactly what keeps me listening to allot of these 'minor' composers!

Likewise,Spohr's symphonies may not be deep. But that 3rd symphony has charm,good humour & tunes that more than make up for any 'intellectual' short comings!
Also,this fellow was once very famous. I seem to remember reading somewhere that he was regarded by some as greater (or more progressive?!) than Beethoven. (Maybe someone here can provide some more information on this?) Going too far,to be sure. But I'm always wondering which composers we rate highly today,will eventually fall,spectacularly,from grace?!
And he IS an interesting puzzle!

Unable to resist any more,I now have some of his chamber/instrumental music on order! But I'm not buying ANY more cds now,period!!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 02, 2012, 06:37:51 AM
Audiences in the 1820s simply loved Spohr. I can't help wanting a particularly incisive HIP ensemble, like Das Neue Orchester, to come in and record some Spohr symphonies with all their inhibitions set aside and their horn players standing up...or something.  :D

Oh yeah! We should petition the Hobbit Fey. He and his Heidelbergers I'm sure would present Spohr in the most persuasive light possible.

Sarge
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 02, 2012, 06:58:42 AM
Sarge: And I still feel guilty about overrating the Lachner Fifth! I feel like I owe you! But,I didn't expect you to buy it!!! I quite like that theme in the first movement, but it just goes on too long for it's own good

A 20+ minute first movement....yeah, it does rather go on  ;D  (But there is a gorgeous new melody starting at 10:35 that's worth the price of admission. Pity it disappears so quickly.) But did I say I didn't like the symphony? I can't recall now. I only listened once or twice six months ago (and am listening again now). But even if I didn't then, no need to apologize. I spend quite a bit on "experiments" and rarely regret a purchase.


  As to Spohr. I DO know what you mean! But in all fairness to Spohr,David Hurwitz?!!! :o


I know, I know  ;D  But I only brought him up because he had the same reaction to that symphony, and that performance, that I did.

Still, I'd go with the 3rd,if you can't resist the urge!

So if you do get anything, I think you would be happier to start with at least one of the first few symphonies.

Okay, I'll give the Third a try.

Sarge
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Scarpia on October 02, 2012, 07:14:51 AM
I seem to remember reading somewhere that he was regarded by some as greater (or more progressive?!) than Beethoven. (Maybe someone here can provide some more information on this?) Going too far,to be sure. But I'm always wondering which composers we rate highly today,will eventually fall,spectacularly,from grace?

I recall reading in the notes for one of the Brautigam Beethoven Sonata cycle releases (maybe volume 5) that Beethoven himself criticized Spohr for excess chromaticism, which obscured the tonal center of the music. 
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 02, 2012, 07:17:28 AM
Fingers crossed,eh,Sarge?!! Well,if I can enjoy Rubinstein's third! ;D (For that finale,maybe!!) Hope you're not going to buy it now,Sarge! ;D

Yes that tune in the first movement of Lachner's fifth? I played it quite allot & then my enthusiasm waned. I have a feeling a better performance would help. Also,his Sixth is supposed to be much better,but there's no blinking recording! :(  I understand he's regarded as a bit of a 'missing link'. Not the kind dug up in chalk pits,I hasten to add! At least,I hope not! :)

Must admit,I have actually (Ahem!),found myself agreeing with Hurwitz on the odd occasion! :-[

I hope it's a lucky No3,for you! From what I've heard this is the most tuneful one,although I wouldn't go so far as to say I could whistle any of it & I haven't heard No 4,yet!
Personally,I really DO like it. Just don't expect anything terribly deep or epoch making & you may enjoy it!

Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 04, 2012, 07:08:30 AM
The Hyperion cd of Spohr's 3rd & 4th arrived today,so I've now got one! :) Unusually for a new cd,I played the third item,Symphony No5,first,so I could compare it with the Marco Polo performances. Of course,these are the ones to get & you notice the difference immediately. I'm not a musician,so I have to go by my ears & it's not just the improvement in sound quality. The Hyperion performance seems to bring out more of the character of the music,there's more contrast,atmosphere,you name it! Still,the MP performance wasn't so bad it put me off! In a way,I'm almost ;D glad I heard it first,because it does seem to suggest that some of the negative responses to Spohr's symphonies are due to the kind of performances people get to hear,as opposed to the music itself. (Rubinstein's 'Ocean Symphony' is another one that would benefit from a performance & recording as good as this). Hyperion have also made these issues even more attractive by putting those fantastic Caspar David Friedrich paintings on the front!

Currently on a tight budget & not wanting to spend too much,at the moment,I bought the Decca Eloquence 2cd set of Spohr's Chamber music. There are some cuts in these 1960's recordings,but they have a good 'pedigree',as far as I can make out & the reviews I have seen are pretty good. Also,2 for the price of 1!! :) Of course,if I like what I hear,I can buy some of the recommendations I have seen here!
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 04, 2012, 07:14:18 AM
The Hyperion cd of Spohr's 3rd & 4th arrived today,so I've now got one! :) Unusually for a new cd,I played the third item,Symphony No5,first,so I could compare it with the Marco Polo performances. Of course,these are the ones to get & you notice the difference immediately. I'm not a musician,so I have to go by my ears & it's not just the improvement in sound quality. The Hyperion performance seems to bring out more of the character of the music,there's more contrast,atmosphere,you name it! Still,the MP performance wasn't so bad it put me off! In a way,I'm almost ;D glad I heard it first,because it does seem to suggest that some of the negative responses to Spohr's symphonies are due to the kind of performances people get to hear,as opposed to the music itself. (Rubinstein's 'Ocean Symphony' is another one that would benefit from a performance & recording as good as this). Hyperion have also made these issues even more attractive by putting those fantastic Caspar David Friedrich paintings on the front!

Currently on a tight budget & not wanting to spend too much,at the moment,I bought the Decca Eloquence 2cd set of Spohr's Chamber music. There are some cuts in these 1960's recordings,but they have a good 'pedigree',as far as I can make out & the reviews I have seen are pretty good. Also,2 for the price of 1!! :) Of course,if I like what I hear,I can buy some of the recommendations I have seen here!

Interesting to finally see a comparison. I have always been happy with the Hyperion series, but not having something to compare to made it difficult to know for sure. Also, note typo - you wrote 3+4 where you meant 4+5.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 04, 2012, 07:50:18 AM
The Hyperion cd of Spohr's 4th & 5th arrived today,so I've now got one! :) Unusually for a new cd,I played the third item,Symphony No5,first,so I could compare it with the Marco Polo performances. Of course,these are the ones to get & you notice the difference immediately. I'm not a musician,so I have to go by my ears & it's not just the improvement in sound quality. The Hyperion performance seems to bring out more of the character of the music,there's more contrast,atmosphere,you name it!.............................

Thanks for the comparison to the MP performances of the 5th Symphony - as mentioned before that is the only Hyperion symphony disc that I own - just checked at BRO HERE (http://broinc.com/search.php?row=25&text=spohr&filter=all&RPP=25&submit=Search) for Spohr offerings (they usually sell Hyperion single CDs for $6.99); now there are a few Hyperion offerings, including the excellent Gaudier Ensemble doing the Nonet & Octet & a bunch of varied Marco Polo discs available, BUT NONE of the Hyperion symphony recordings which does surprise me, i.e. I can't imagine those CDs selling much @ the prices on Amazon - perfect fodder for a BRO bulk purchase!  ;D
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 04, 2012, 08:01:05 AM
Thank you mc ukrneal! I don't wish to confuse! I meant,4 & 5,of course!! ;D Oh deary me,but it's getting near tea time & the less cultured side of me is preoccupied with F-O-O-D & it's going to be a very tasty :) fish pie!! :)

A thought occured to me! I have recently been spending more time 'here' than on the Havergal Brian thread!!What's happening to me?! :o Not a mid life crisis,I hope! :( ;D I wonder if anyone else will follow me here (from there)? Possibly/probably,not! I have a feeling Spohr deserves more than 5 pages;although,if you count the ones on the old forum,he's got (if memory serves me,correctly?) over ten! I note,this is a composer with both a society in the USA & Great Britain! And a competition named after him!!

Now,for that fish pie!! :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 04, 2012, 08:25:32 AM
Yes,SonicMan46 & after hearing this cd the temptation to hear the Hyperion performance of No3,is definitely there. Yet,the MP performance of No5 isn't so bad I'm willing to spend more......at least,not right now!

And then there's that 'box'!! ::)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 04, 2012, 08:53:05 AM
Fingers crossed,eh,Sarge?!!

I went overboard  ;D  Ordered the CPO 2/8 also after reading the blurb at JPC which ended:  "Howard Griffiths once again presents a gripping interpretation informed by historical performance practice." We'll see. And yes, keeping my fingers crossed for a decent performance.


Sarge
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn on October 04, 2012, 10:38:21 AM
The Cpo is supposed to be the next best,after Hyperion! Well it would be! And listening to this Hyperion cd of 4 & 5,now I've got more time,I think there's quite obviously no comparison! Probably! To be fair to Walter,I can only compare No 5. The sound quality helps,too. The Marco Polo is okay,but with the Hyperion you get the feeling of vista's opening up,like the painting on the front! :) And it's as if you can suddenly hear all kinds of detail in Spohr's orchestration,woodwind chirrups,and so on. Ear tickling stuff!
And here is the bad news Sarge,listening to No 4,I'm inclined to think that however much I enjoy No 3,this one is even better! The orchestration is quite gorgeous. Spohr's inspiration seems at a very high level here. If you think his inspiration runs high at all! ;D A lovely symphony. Well,I like it! :)

I can't help wondering what Shelley & his orchestra do with No 7? A very intriguing symphony in terms of the way it is worked out,but unfortunately,and I hate to 'echo' 'the Hurwitz',it did sound shapeless & 'samey' in the Marco Polo performance. But such an intriguing concept & Spohr,obviously,went to so much trouble over it. Listening to these performances,I have a strong feeling I may be inclined to change my opinion when I hear the Hyperion performances.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn 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
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn 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!

(http://i.imgur.com/Al4wNs5.jpg)

Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn 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.

(http://i.imgur.com/QrPy3d3.jpg)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn 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! :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XRKabfd1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
I love his Double Quartets. That is a wonderful 2 cd set.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn 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!

(http://i.imgur.com/RuEcmTf.jpg)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SymphonicAddict 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
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn 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.   
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Sergeant Rock 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
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 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 :)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71OY6X3QO0L._SX522_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71IB0kmkRYL._SX522_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61hqNPOaiFL.jpg)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 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 (https://www.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&brocode=&stocknum=&submit=Find+Item&text=spohr+symphonies&filter=all) 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.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/718Eq4DbTkL._SL1200_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71Xj98elmOL._SL1200_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71OY6X3QO0L._SL1200_.jpg)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn 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! :(

Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 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 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21492.96240.html) (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 :)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: cilgwyn 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 (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/ (http://www.spohr-society.org.uk/)  Spohr Journal's free to download & read (very interesting,if you like his music!)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SergeCpp on May 07, 2020, 08:58:05 AM
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51s-1NKO9oL._SL500_.jpg)

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

Playlist (Maria du Toit — Topic) (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mmdQbw9buQgzCsTuCF0m7qJBXj5TNABkA) or Bulk (Brilliant Classics — Channel) (https://youtu.be/J5YXUetibgQ)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 07, 2020, 12:53:03 PM
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51s-1NKO9oL._SL500_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51W54viDarL.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51uJMNPmTqL.jpg)

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

Playlist (Maria du Toit — Topic) (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mmdQbw9buQgzCsTuCF0m7qJBXj5TNABkA) or Bulk (Brilliant Classics — Channel) (https://youtu.be/J5YXUetibgQ)

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
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SergeCpp 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 (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3GnU30Sqxwbsif_M63rV1A) (so called "topic").

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

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/813gK238YuL._SL500_.jpg)

Spohr Clarinet Concertos — Karl Leister & Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart (Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos) (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_nKZy7vqZeg5lZnu5astlWRbGdx61gown8)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SergeCpp 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 (http://www.spohr-society.org.uk/spohr_journal_2.html) no. 19, 1992 named Spohr's String Quintets and Sextet (http://www.spohr-society.org.uk/Spohr_Journal_19_1992_p2_Skrine_Spohrs_Quintet_and_Sextet.pdf) (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.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71iic6hnSaL._SL500_.jpg)

Spohr String Quintets — Danubius Quartet & Sandor Papp

[ Vol. 1 (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kAe8P30dZlqrEjLPS8DKvBE5Sbc8haL5A) | Vol. 2 (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lC4DWKTBDeHMLOaS01ZCZ5h6FgdYWPsRY) | Vol. 3 (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kVs8GFuTqcVOsot5P1q7AL1ChyFyxBNV4) | Vol. 4 (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mxLazNlWmcFqy5q3ILm6R70HCeEvQZwgU) ]

Somewhat critical review (http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/m/mpl23597a.php) (ClassicalNet).
Quite positive review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Jun02/Louis_SPOHR.htm) (MusicWeb).

//
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 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 (https://www.broinc.com/media?s=spohr+string+quartets) 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 :)
.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-HXmQBWG/0/a3e232fa/O/MPV4.png)  (https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-HGnTc29/0/d9991bff/O/MPV6.png)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81L91vGSBVL._SL1200_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71zFCLDWmCL._SL1075_.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-2dGCR7h/0/32a9b42d/O/MPV14.png)    (https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-kSgd7jN/0/69bbe8d1/O/MPV16.png)  (https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-ktpN5G3/0/5e32538c/O/MPV17.png)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71O3bdUR9XL._SL1047_.jpg)
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SergeCpp 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 (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22spohr%3A+string+quartets+vol.%22).

These days I'm re-listening (or about to) the 7 Piano Trios and 2 Piano Quintets.
Title: Re: Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 22, 2020, 09:51:11 AM
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 (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22spohr%3A+string+quartets+vol.%22).

These days I'm re-listening (or about to) the 7 Piano Trios and 2 Piano Quintets.

Hi again SergeCpp - well, you've got me beat on having heard all of Louis's string works - if desired, I can hear all of these works on Spotify (have a Sonos Wi-Fi speaker in the bedroom & can stream to my den speakers) but have not done so yet - listened to the Piano Trios yesterday; then will do the Symphonies.  Dave :)