Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first. Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages. Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults. We talk of the nine symphonies of Beethoven and Bruckner but what about the ten of Spohr? Howard Shelley and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana conclude their survey of his symphonies with two that push the boundaries of the genre itself. Both Nos 7 and 9 are programmatic works, something that Spohr along with Berlioz did much to champion. His Ninth explores that perennial favourite theme of composers from Vivaldi to Glazunov, the Seasons though Spohr starts with winter rather than spring. As if that were not enough, Howard Shelley also offers the premiere recordings of a brief, powerful Introduzione and a triumphant, at times almost Rossini-ish, Festmarsch.
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The nine published symphonies of Louis Spohr divide fairly clearly into five which follow the classical traditions No. While those of the first group are in the usual four movements with a scherzo coming third, the programmatic works offer a number of variations on this ground plan. However, the overall shape of that work was patterned to resemble a four-movement symphony even if the internal procedures of the movements did not. In the Seventh Symphony, even this simulation of traditional symphonic shape was jettisoned and what we really have is a symphonic poem in three movements.
Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
For one year beginning in , Spohr was the Kapellmeister—concertmaster—of the Theater an die Vien in Vienna, where he formed a cordial acquaintance with Beethoven. The first movement celebrates the style of J. Bach and Handel ; the second evokes the styles of Haydn and Mozart ; and the third is a rumbustious scherzo cast in the style of Beethoven The score met with a warmer response in Germany and remained in the repertory until the end of the nineteenth century. Galina Ivanova Ustvolskaya is an enigmatic figure in the history of Soviet music. Ustvolskaya and Shostakovich developed such a close artistic and personal relationship that he quoted a theme from her Trio for clarinet, violin, and piano in his Fifth String Quartet, Op.
Born in in Braunschweig Brunswick , Germany, Spohr was active as a composer, conductor, and violinist. Between and his death in , Spohr served in a number of court positions throughout Germany and Austria. He was the leader of the orchestra at Gotha from to , leader of the orchestra at Theater der Wien in Vienna from to , director of the Frankfurt Opera from to , and Hofkapellmeister at the city of Kassel from to His violin playing was greatly admired by audiences throughout Europe, including Queen Victoria. He was a prolific composer, writing nine symphonies, 15 violin concertos, and 36 string quartets, as well as operas and oratorios. Despite these considerable accomplishments, Spohr is perhaps best remembered for having preserved and promoted the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. As a conductor, Spohr programmed the music of these two great figures at time when their works were considered old fashioned and out of place. Felix Mendelssohn famously shared this same enthusiasm. Spohr made an indelible mark on the modern orchestra through his invention of the first violin chin rest.