Durch die romantische Brille In seiner dritten Sinfonie gelangte Louis Spohr weg vom klassischen Ideal hin zur romantischen und freien Form. Die Sinfonie wurde noch zu Spohrs Lebzeiten begeistert aufgenommen, hingegen erlitt seine »Historische Sinfonie« eine herbe Niederlage. Was später selbstverständlich wurde, war Spohr nicht vergönnt. Die Sätze seiner 6. Sinfonie sind vier verschiedenen Epochen gewidmet: 1. Bach-Händel’sche Periode, 2. Haydn-Mozart’sche Periode, 3. Beethoven’sche Periode, 4. Allerneueste Periode. Spohr setzt die Stile mit eigenen Motiven um – ein faszinierender Blick auf Vergangenes durch die romantische Brille.
Howard Shelley’s fascinating series of Spohr’s symphonies continues to inspire interest and delight in this underrated composer.
By the time Spohr came to write his Third Symphony he was established in the top rank of contemporary composers. It is a richer, more romantic work than its two predecessors, both through its orchestration and the more plastic quality of its themes with their stronger flavour of poetic fantasy. It also moves a step further away from the classical ideal and nearer to a romantic freedom of form.
The Sixth Symphony was written in an entirely new form—each movement in a different historical style—which baffled contemporaries. Today we accept compositions which work with musical styles from earlier periods such as Tchaikovsky’s Mozartiana, Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella or Richard Strauss’ Dance Suite after Couperin but when Spohr pioneered the process with his ‘Historical’ Symphony contemporary listeners and critics completely failed to comprehend this concept. But it is in fact a very effective work. The styles imitated are filtered through Spohr’s imagination so giving the symphony its enduring fascination and providing it with a phoenix-like attribute of revival after each critical cremation.
'The C minor Symphony No 3 … has an attractive slow movement, and a scherzo and trio that are woven together with considerable ingenuity. The slow introduction to the Overture from the oratorio The Fall of Babylon is impressive too' (BBC Music Magazine)
'Howard Shelley and his admirable Italian players have reached a curious landmark in their continuing exploration of Louis Spohr's symphonies for Hyperion: the 'historical' sixth … It reflects Spohr's Mendelssohnian fascination with earlier music and his complete mastery of form' (The Observer)
'These are lively performances of rewarding works by an unjustly neglected master of quintessentially Romantic music' (NewClassics. com)
Der Fall Babylons, oratorio for soloists, chorus & orchestra, WoO 63
Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78: Andante grave - Allegro
Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78: Larghetto
Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78: Scherzo - Trio
Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78: Allegro
Symphony No. 6 in G major ('Historical'), Op. 116: Bach-Händel'sche Periode 1720: Largo grave - Allegro moderato - Pastorale - Tempo
Symphony No. 6 in G major ('Historical'), Op. 116: Haydn-Mozart'sche Periode 1780: Larghetto
Symphony No. 6 in G major ('Historical'), Op. 116: Beethoven'sche Periode 1810: Scherzo - Trio
Symphony No. 6 in G major ('Historical'), Op. 116: Allerneueste Periode 1840: Allegro vivace