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Spohr, Louis

Louis Spohr was a German violinist, poet, and conductor whose works represent an early phase of German music's Romantic era. Spohr learned how to compose by researching Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's scores. He learned violin with the Brunswick orchestra's conductor and Franz Eck, who took him on a tour of Russia in 1802. He toured Italy with Niccol Paganini, the great violin virtuoso, and in 1817 was named conductor of the opera in Frankfurt am Main. Spohr embarked on the first of his six tours of England in 1820. In 1821, he was named court conductor in Kassel. His patron, the elector of Hesse-Kassel, disapproved of his liberal radicalism in his latter years, and he was pensioned in 1857. He fractured his left arm shortly after and was no longer able to play the violin.

About his opposition to forward-thinking composers of the time—he despised Carl Maria von Weber's works, and Ludwig van Beethoven's late works—Spohr admired Richard Wagner's music and conducted The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser. Faust (1816), one of the first German Romantic operas, and Jessonda are among Spohr's 11 operas. The fourth symphony, Die Weihe der Töne (The Consecration of Sound), was the most famous of his nine. He also composed 15 violin concerti, 34 string quartets, four double string quartets, and a nonet (of which No. 8 is still performed). From 1949 to 1954, his works were collected in Kassel, where the Spohr-Gesellschaft was established in 1954 to promote his songs.

Violin Compositions of Louis Spohr | Animato Strings


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