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Jeremy Pound
BBC Music Magazine, September 2016

Two sides to symphonic Spohr here, as the Mozart-inspired First is joined by the later, more Romantic Fifth. The Slovak State PO’s playing has passion aplenty… © 2016 BBC Music Magazine

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, August 2016

The performances are quite respectable, with excellent spirit and detail. These are symphonies that trod untypical ground and do so in ways that please. An auspicious beginning! © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2016

Today’s young violinists will look upon Louis Spohr as having written boring exercises, but in his lifetime he was a highly regarded and productive composer. Among his instrumental works were included fifteen violin concertos and ten symphonies, Robert Schumann describing the latter as ‘truly beautiful and masterly’. The problem for Spohr was simply that he was writing music in a style that had already passed its ‘sell-buy’ date, his name almost forgotten by the time he died in 1859. Yet, if you put dates and eras out of your thoughts, and just listen with an open mind to these two well-crafted scores, they are of such a pleasing quality. Scherzos are a pure delight, and their finales whiz along in a mood of happiness. Maybe the long opening movement of the first symphony leaves for an unbalanced score, but no doubt the twenty-seven year old composer wanted to impress his audience with its weight and gravitas. As an orchestrator he was unadventurous, preferring to follow on where Haydn left off, with few technical demands on the players. Here they enjoy performances that are warm and perfectly proportioned, Alfred Walter, already a veteran and much experienced conductor when these performances were recorded in 1990, having the Slovak orchestra in their golden era, solo passages, particularly the woodwind, being of the highest quality. I recall the original issue on Marco Polo when it was one of their jewels, and I can only urge you to hear it, the sound quality is far better than many of today’s releases. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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