This recording forms part of a series of 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.
Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 52
Double Quartet in E minor, Op. 87
Octet in E major, Op. 32
Nonet in F major, Op. 31
Walter Panhofer, piano
Recording Producers: Erik Smith (Double Quartet, Octet, Nonet), James Mallinson (Piano Quintet)
Balance Engineers: Gordon Parry (Double Quartet, Nonet); James Brown (Octet); Tryggvi Tryggvason (Piano Quintet)
Recording Location: Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, March 1959 (Octet), May 1966 (Double Quartet, Nonet), October 1969 (Piano Quintet)
‘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