SPOHR, L.: Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8 (Slovak State Philharmonic, A. Walter)
Louis Spohr’s innovative approach to symphonic writing began with the programmatic SymphonyNo. 4 (8.555398) and was further broadened by Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 121 which he subtitled ‘The Earthly and Divine in Human Life’. Jettisoning traditional symphonic form, this work is in effect a daring symphonic poem in three movements with a small orchestra representing the ‘divine’ and the full orchestra the ‘earthly’. The more traditional Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 137—enshrining both tragic lament and sweet serenade—enables us to compare Spohr the innovator with Spohr the formalist.
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