SPOHR: DAS BEFREITE DEUTSCH­LAND OVER­TURE; SYM­PHONY NO 4 (DIE WEIHE DER TÖNE); SYM­PHONY NO 5

Orches­tra della Svizzera Ital­iana/ Howard Shelley Hype­r­ion CDA 67622

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - MICHAEL DER­VAN

Louis Spohr (1784-1859) is just the kind of com­poser you might ex­pect to fea­ture at the Wex­ford Fes­ti­val, an early ro­man­tic whose high rep­u­ta­tion plum­meted in the years af­ter his death. His sym­phonies were once re­garded as an es­sen­tial link be­tween the classical Vi­en­nese sym­phon­ists and the world of Men­delssohn and Schu­mann, and Schu­mann ad­mired Spohr’s Fifth (1837) for its “earnest solem­nity”. This sec­ond vol­ume of Howard Shelley’s Hype­r­ion sur­vey of the sym­phonies shows again a com­poser who, to mod­ern ears, strays un­com­fort­ably close to a style that falls into the easy lis­ten­ing cat­e­gory. Some mo­ments in the Larghetto of the Fifth and in the over­ture, Das befreite Deutsch­land, come clos­est to lift-off. www.hype­r­ion-records.co.uk

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