Mendelssohn – Oktett Es-dur, Op. 20 / Spohr – Doppel-Quartett D-moll, Op. 65


With nine symphonies, 36 string quartets and 18 violin concertos the German composer Louis Spohr can be considered a very prolific writer. He also wrote what can be considered the grandfather of Mendelssohn’s famous octet: a double string quartet. What is more, he wrote four of them.

Spohr also invented the chin rest for the violin, along with a treatise on the technique of violin playing that was quite influential. Yet he is not that well known. He can be considered a romantic, but somehow his works never really made it to the big stage. I do admit Mendelssohn has the better of him by not so much combining two quartets, but created a more integrated ensemble. By including both examples, this record makes that process very clear.

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