MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859)
Concertante No. 1 in A major, Op. 48 (1808) [24:20]
Concertante No. 2 in B minor, Op. 88 (1833) [26:07]
Violin Duet in G major, Op.3, No. 3 (1833) [9:55]
Henning Kraggerud (violin); Øyvind Bjorå (violin)
Oslo Camerata and Barratt Due Chamber Orchestra/Stephan Barratt-Due
rec. February 2008, Jar Church, Oslo
NAXOS 8.570840 [57:02]

Experience Classicsonline

Spohr’s two Concertanti were written some 25 years apart, and display his characteristic melodic grace, adept interplay, and a sometimes intriguing approach to orchestration. It all makes for fluent listening, especially given the fine performances enshrined in this disc.

The elegant two minute orchestral introduction to the A major Concertante sets the marker. Clever registral interplay demarcates Spohr’s schema, allowing contrast but also unison. Overall he imbues the music with a joie de vivre demonstrated by ebullient trills which lead dramatically into the orchestral tutti – maybe a stock gadget but when carried off with panache still an exciting one. Spohr manages too to imbue the wind writing with sufficient personality and the curlicues for this section add nicely to the orchestral sound-picture. With a rather pious slow movement – neat running orchestral pizzicato show the composer pulling out all the stops – there is also sweet charm. And with a bright, jovial finale, rich in gallant hues (and animating horns) this is a work well worth getting to know.

Its companion was written in 1833. The two violins enter much earlier than in the previous work, establishing their credentials with more romantic spirit. Kraggerud and Bjorå take care to give full weight to those moments when Spohr encourages a spongy lower string statement from the one and an answering crystalline upper string commentary from the other. Again the wind playing is pert – the orchestral forces here are adept. The notes speak of Spohr’s writing here being anticipatory of Berlioz, Tchaikovsky and Mahler. Well, the last named is surely far-fetched in this context, but there are some intriguing pre-echoes of Tchaikovsky certainly. The grazioso double-stops of the two soloists in the slow movement are set atop intriguingly reduced orchestral support. The finale has brio but is not aggressive; it’s an Allegretto after all, and has just a few hints that Spohr was more than slightly au fait with Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante.

Published in 1833 and one of his studies, the Violin Duet in G major maintains a good balance between expressive and technical demands, the multi-sectional nature of the second movement being especially successful in this regard.

There are other performances of the two Concertantes. Ulf Hoelscher recorded them with his sister Gunhild on CPO 999 798-2 though I wasn’t able to audition them. Hoelscher, as some will know, is something of a hero of the Spohr violin discography having recorded the complete cycle of concertos. Nevertheless this sprucely performed Naxos entrant is notably well played and recorded.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by John-Pierre Joyce

Error processing SSI file

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.