Once regarded as the equal of Beethoven, Louis Spohr was a prominent figure in European music for the first half of the 19th century, admired for his prodigious skills as a violin virtuoso as well as for his conducting and composing. Yet his music fell into obscurity for many decades, and few of his works were regularly played until the Spohr revival of the late 20th century. Among the works that have entered the standard repertoire, the four clarinet concertos have achieved a kind of fame comparable to the clarinet works of Carl Maria von Weber and are approaching them in availability of recordings. Paul Meyer, known for his broad coverage of major and minor clarinet works and ability to play them with grace and polish, presents the clarinet concertos in a double-disc package that is desirable for having all the works together. More importantly, Meyer's performances with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra are highly attractive for their warmth and charm, characteristics that should win a wide audience beyond the expected followers of clarinet music. There is an appealing give-and-take between Meyer and the orchestra, no doubt because his conducting allows for spontaneity, as well as a coherent dialog between the soloist and the accompaniment. The sound of these 2012 recordings is warm and inviting, and the vibrant acoustics give the music a delightful ambience.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
|Concerto No. 1 en ut majeur, pour clarinette et orchestre, Op. 26|
|Concerto No. 2 en mi bémol majeur, pour clarinette et orchestre, Op. 57|
Track Listing - Disc 2
|Concerto No. 3 en fa mineur, pour clarinette et orchestre, WoO 19|
|Concerto No. 4 en mi mineur, pour clarinette et orchestre, WoO 20|