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Recording location: Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, March 1959 (Octet), May 1966 (Double Quartet, Nonet), October 1969 (Piano Quintet)
This recording forms part of a series of 10 reissues celebrating the glorious Decca recordings from the 1950s-1970s of the Wiener Oktett (Vienna Octet), made up of key principals from the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
Eclipsed now by the many composers of the first half of the 19th century who surrounded him, in his time Louis Spohr was famed throughout the Classical music world. Tall and handsome, he was soon recognised as the best German violinist of the era. Of the enormous amount of music that Spohr wrote, only some of the chamber music is revived today. Much of it is innovative, as was the gesture of Decca and the Wiener Oktett to record some of it, and their stereo recordings are here collectively issued. Highly desirable by collectors as well as lovers of chamber music, the recording of the Double Quartet in particular, was hailed as one of the best examples of Viennese string playing. Together with the Piano Quintet and Nonet, it makes its first international appearance on CD.
Distinguished commentator Tully Potter provides enrichment aplenty in his notes, with a discussion of Spohr’s colourful life as well as of the music and the performers.
“a splendid performance of the work” (Nonet) Gramophone
“The players sound as if they know [the Spohr Octet] inside out; the interpretation has matured, gaining in precision and also in insouciance” Gramophone
Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 52: I. Allegro moderato
Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 52: II. Larghetto con moto
Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 52: III. Menuetto & Trio (Allegretto)
Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 52: IV. Finale (Allegro molto)
Double Quartet in E minor, Op. 87: I. Adagio-Allegro
Double Quartet in E minor, Op. 87: II. Andante
Double Quartet in E minor, Op. 87: III. Scherzo
Double Quartet in E minor, Op. 87: IV. Finale (Allegro molto)
Octet in E major, Op.32 1. Adagio - Allegro
Octet in E major, Op.32 2. Menuetto (Allegro)
Octet in E major, Op.32 3. Andante con variazione
Octet in E major, Op.32 4. Finale (Allegretto)
Nonet in F major, Op 31 1. Allegro
Nonet in F major, Op 31 2. Scherzo (Allegro)
Nonet in F major, Op 31 3. Adagio
Nonet in F major, Op 31 Finale (Vivace)
“Spohr at his best...The colourful Octet is lively, its notoriously testing violin part admirably unflustered.”
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