SPOHR, LOUIS Symphonies Nos. 7 & 9, Introduzione, Festmarsch. Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana / Howard Shelley. Hyperion

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Spohr Louis Symphonies Nos 7 Svizzera Italiana Howard Shelley Hyperion

LOUIS SPOHR (1784–1859)

Symphonies Nos 7 & 9

Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana / Howard Shelley

Symphony No 9 in B minor ‘The Seasons’ Op 143 [30'12]

1 PART 1 Winter Allegro maestoso [9'29]

2 Transition to Spring L’istesso tempo [0'48]

3 Spring Moderato – Presto – Moderato [6'19]

4 PART 2 Summer Largo [6'41]

5 Introduction to Autumn Allegro vivace [0'38]

6 Autumn L’istesso tempo [6'06]

Symphony No 7 in C major ‘The earthly and divine in human life’ Op 121 [32'10]

7 The world of childhood Introduzione: Adagio – Allegretto [10'43]

8 The age of passion Larghetto – Allegro moderato [10'43]

9 Final victory of the divine Presto – Adagio [10'44]

10 Introduzione in D major WoO5 [0'50] –

11 Festmarsch in D major WoO3 [5'22]

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.

In the Seventh, titled ‘The earthly and divine in human life’ and inspired by a holiday in Switzerland, he uses not one but two orchestras to great colouristic effect. 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.

Hyperion Records CDA67939

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