One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

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

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859)
Overture: Das befreite Deutschland, WoO64 1814 [8:10]
Symphony No. 4 in F major Die Weihe der Töne, Op. 86 1832 [36:27]
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 102 1837 [33:19]
Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana/Howard Shelley
rec. 23-27 April 2007, Auditorio Stelio Molo, Lugano, Switzerland
HYPERION CDA67622 [78:00]


Experience Classicsonline

Spohr Symphonies from Hyperion
1 / 2 CDA67616
3 / 6 CDA67788
Spohr composed nine published symphonies between 1811 and 1850. A tenth was composed in 1857, but this had to wait until 1998 for its first public performance and remained in manuscript until it was published in 2006.
It was after Spohr’s move to Kassel in 1822 and then to Leipzig that his artistic emphasis switched from virtuoso violinist and the churning out of numerous violin concertos to the writer of symphonies..
Alongside these accomplishments his roster of cantatas is substantial. Das Befreite Deutschland (German Liberated) was written to mark the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. Premiered in 1815 at Frankenhausen, its overture provides the curtain-up for this disc. It's the second in Hyperion's estimable Spohr symphony series. The overture follows a recognised pattern. There’s an ominous and pregnant Beethovenian preamble preceding a vigorous Schumann-inflected Allegro which is stirringly sanguine. The template suggests Weber's opera overtures such as Euryanthe and Oberon. The Fourth Symphony is a grand work - probably the most epic of Spohr's ten symphonies. The Largo-into-Allegro first movement tracks through a very deliberate introduction with Egmontian anxiety to a more serene bel canto style which carries over into the pensive and then Mendelssohnianly chuckling Andantino. The third movement starts with brawly blown brass fanfares and a jinglingly military Tempo di Marcia. The final Larghetto-into-Allegretto is surprisingly overcast with a potently depressive Tchaikovskian droop to the proceedings. Shelley and his orchestra play with an admirable restraint and an unerringly apposite mood. The movement ends in a downward curving sigh that must have been revolutionary at the time. Most of the symphonies of that era end in the conventional tonal heroic gesture varied within only a very narrow compass.
Five years later came the Fifth Symphony - again in four movements. This winds from a thoughtful Andante into a troubled romantic Allegro, in turn ending in a conventional tonal ‘crunch’. The Larghetto has a sweet, even placid, temperament in touch with Beethoven's pastoral meadows. The little four minute scherzo provides vigorous contrast in which the echo-calling horns are very nicely caught by the engineers. There’s a touch of Schubert's Great C Major here. Another Presto confirms the second half of the symphony as providing a more exuberant and even tempestuous panel to contrast with the reflective steadier pulse of the first two.
Pleasing symphonies from Spohr. They deserve your attention and make a refreshing break from Beethoven. Spohr strikes out in individual directions in the Fourth. It contrasts well with the heart-warming yet convention-bound pleasures of the Fifth.
Rob Barnett




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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.