Symphonies 1 & 2
Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Howard Shelley (conductor)
1 Grand Concert Overture in F major, WoO1 [6:31]
Symphony No 1 in E flat major, Op 20
2 Movement 1: Adagio – Allegro [12:43]
3 Movement 2: Larghetto con moto [6:24]
4 Movement 3: Scherzo. Allegro [8:45]
5 Movement 4: Finale. Allegretto [8:35]
Symphony No 2 in D minor, Op 49
6 Movement 1: Allegro [12:09]
7 Movement 2: Larghetto [6:16]
8 Movement 3: Scherzo. Presto [4:43]
9 Movement 4: Finale. Vivace [7:31]
In his lifetime, Spohr ranked as one of the great composers; one of the most significant personalities in German music in the first half of the nineteenth century; a leading pioneer of early Romanticism; his music played and loved by thousands. Although it declined sharply after his death, his reputation has enjoyed something of a revival in recent decades, mainly due to his delightful chamber music (much of it recorded on Hyperion).
However, Spohr’s symphonies were his most celebrated works. They were staples of the concert platform (particularly in London) along with those of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Hyperion is delighted to present this disc of Symphonies Nos 1 and 2, with 4 and 5 to follow next year. The indefatigable Howard Shelley (himself approaching his 100th CD recording) conducts the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in stylish, committed performances which demonstrate all the originality and individuality which contemporary listeners found in Spohr’s music. Also included is a first recording of his Grand Concert Overture in F major—an enchanting and utterly unfamiliar work.
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