Spohr recording rises to the occasion

Spohr's Symphonies Nos 3 & 6 are excellently played by the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana with Howard Shelley at the reins

Composer: Spohr
Repertoire: Symphonies Nos 3 & 6; Overture - The Fall of Babylon
Artists: Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana/Howard Shelley
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: Hyperion CDA 67788

‘By Bach, interwoven/With Spohr and Beethoven…’ It’s tempting to wonder if The Mikado had Spohr’s Sixth Symphony in mind; but, as WS Gilbert was notoriously unmusical, such speculation must regretfully be dismissed. The symphony is an odd work: subtitled ‘Historical Symphony in the style and taste of four different periods’, it starts with Bach and Handel and proceeds via Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven to Spohr’s contemporaries. As a whole, it fails to grip. More rewarding is the Third Symphony, with its Rossinian finale. The performances are excellent throughout.