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Lachner: Symphony No. 1 / Spohr: Symphony No. 2

The Symphony in E-flat, the first of eight, was completed in 1828. It illustrates Lachner's affinities with Spohr and the strong influence of Schubert. At the same time the instruction of Sechter in counterpoint bears obvious fruit, while one may suspect a touch of the popular Rossini in the finale. The Symphony No. 2 in D Minor was completed in 1820, after Spohr's resignation from the opera at Frankfurt am Main, where he had spent two years with some success. The second of nine completed symphonies, the work is classical in style, lacking the programmatic element that was to form part of his later symphonic idiom. The symphony was written in London and first performed at a concert of the Philharmonic Society on 10 April, an occasion on which, it was once thought, Spohr used the baton for the first time. In fact he had done so in earlier years in Germany, occasionally using a roll of paper or, as was usual, his violin bow. Nevertheless the use of a baton for the first performance of the Symphony in D Minor seems to have marked the beginning of a practice in London that English musicians initially regarded with some alarm, but were to accept happily enough in the interests of ensemble.

The four movements of the D Minor Symphony exemplify the sound craftsmanship that Spohr could command, coupled with a gift for melody, so well-illustrated in the fifteen violin concertos that still form an important element in student repertoire.

Franz Paul Lachner
Louis Spohr
Choo Hoey
Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Franz Paul Lachner - Symphony No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 32
  1. 01 I. Allegro con brio
  2. 02 II. Andante
  3. 03 III. Scherzo: Allegro assai
  4. 04 IV. Finale: Allegro con brio
Louis Spohr - Symphony No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 49
  1. 05 I. Allegro
  2. 06 II. Larghetto
  3. 07 III. Scherzo: Presto
  4. 08 IV. Finale: Vivace