LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Symphonies, Vol. 1 - Symphony No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 78, Symphony No. 10 in E Flat, WoO 8, Grand Concert Overture in F, WoO 1.
Catalogue Number: 12J001
Reference: 777 177
Description: It no longer matters whether the Hyperion Spohr disc we offered two months ago is the beginning of a series or not. This definitely is, and will cover not just the ten symphonies but the concert overtures as well. Here we have the world premiere recording of the Tenth Symphony of 1857, composed jsut after his String Quartet No. 35. Like that work (which we offered last month), Spohr returns to an elegantly structured Classicism here. The shortest of all his symphonies (at 25:40 in this performance), it remains loyal to Spohr's lifelong creed of "dignity", "stylistic sublimity" and an "organic" unfolding of the music. This means that sonata form must be followed where traditional, harmonies must be nuanced yet able to be anticipated by the listener and there must be no sudden jumps, breaks or surprises - namely, all the things which make Beethoven's symphonies so striking. This, of course, led to Spohr's symphonies being forgotten by Romantic-era seekers of sensation and subjectivity. This series will be valuable to collectors as a reminder of why, from Beethoven's death in 1827 to around 1840, Spohr was held up as the shining example of symphonism by both critics and audiences alike. North German Radio Philharmonic; Howard Griffiths. SACD hybrid