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Spohr: The Clarinet Concertos / Leister, Stuttgart Radio Symphony


Release Date: 06/28/2019 
Label:  Orfeo   Catalog #: 1901  
Composer:  Louis Spohr
Performer:  Karl Leister
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In the 1830s, Spohr was commonly considered undisputedly the greatest living composer. He was inspired to write his four clarinet concertos, which have always ranked among Spohr’s most popular works, by his acquaintance with the Thuringian clarinettist Johann Simon Hermstedt. Up to today, the decidedly virtuoso clarinet concertos have been a challenge for any clarinet soloist, as they mirror Spohr’s view of the form of the solo concerto as a projection surface to flaunt technical skill in an ideal symbiosis with the poetic and lyrical contents of the music. On this release, the works are performed by Karl Leister.Karl Leister began his solo career as a clarinetist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan in 1959. At Read more the same time his international career as a soloist and chamber musician began. He is one of the founders of the ensembles Blaser der Berliner Philharmoniker, Berliner Solisten as well as the Ensemble Wien-Berlin. Since the foundation of the Herbert von Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Leister has been teaching the young generation. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Clarinet no 1 in C minor, Op. 26 by Louis Spohr
Performer:  Karl Leister (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1808; Gotha, Germany 
2.
Concerto for Clarinet no 2 in E flat major, Op. 57 by Louis Spohr
Performer:  Karl Leister (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1810; Gotha, Germany 
3.
Concerto for Clarinet no 3 in F minor, WoO 19 by Louis Spohr
Performer:  Karl Leister (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
4.
Concerto for Clarinet no 4 in E minor, WoO 20 by Louis Spohr
Performer:  Karl Leister (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Kassel, Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Nice to have these back in print July 17, 2019 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "Orfeo first released these recordings of Louis Spohr clarinet concertos in 1984. And they sound like it. The overall sound is somewhat dulled in the extreme registers (compared to contemporary recordings). It casts the orchestra and soloist in soft focus. Despite this, I would still recommend this reissue. Karl Leister is an exceptional clarinetist, and his performances here are quite appealing. He plays the intricate passages and extended runs with fluid gracefulness. Notes seem to blend together and yet are fully articulated even in rapid passages. Sphr wrote all four concertos for Johann Simon Hermstedt, the foremost clarinetist of the early 19th Century. Leister matches him, I think, in virtuosity. Leister not only masters the technical challenges but also brings out the musicality buried in them. Spohr was a younger contemporary of Mozart, and these works have a trace of Mozartian sensibilities. And that trace gives these works a certain good-natured tunefulness. The minus: old-fashioned sound. The plus: top-notch playing." Report Abuse
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