NEWS and MORE about

                                        LOUIS SPOHR  1784  -  1859




    The Spohr Society of The United States
, October 22, 2009
(150th  anniversary of Spohr's death)
     Harris Concert Hall  7: 30 p.m.

    Program and direction: Prof Susan Owen - Leinert

 Alabaster relief by Gustav Kaupert.
Gustav Kaupert was a German sculptor born April 4, 1819 in Kassel. In the United States,
 his creations can be found in Richmond, Virginia (monument of George Washington), and in Washington DC (figure of "America"
 at the Capitol building). He died in Kassel on December 4, 1897.


Louis Spohr’s “Tristan Chords” and Leitmotivs
San Francisco, February 7, 2009  
n her talk, Professor Susan Owen-Leinert, The University of Memphis, Tennessee, presents an exciting musical relationship:
the influence of Louis Spohr (1784 – 1859) on the music of Richard Wagner. Her experience as a successful Wagnerian
soprano is a fundamental element in Owen-Leinert’s research for this lecture, which is accompanied with unique musical
examples.  Professor Owen-Leinert is a passionate teacher of voice at the University of Memphis and the President of the
Louis Spohr Society of the United States of America. She is currently editing the first complete edition of the 105 Lieder of Louis Spohr for the German
publisher Dohr Verlag in Cologne. Professor Owen-Leinert will take us into the world of Spohr and help us learn more about this important friend and
champion of Richard Wagner.  

Richard Wagner Verband Duesseldorf e.V.

Donnerstag, 5. März 19:30 Uhr
Theatermuseum Duesseldorf
 Jägerhofstraße 1   D - 40479 Duesseldorf

SPOHR und WAGNER  Vortrag von Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert und Michael Leinert
Der Einfluss von Louis Spohr auf Richard Wagner - Spohrs Wirken in Duesseldorf und bei den Niederrheinischen Musikfesten.
Mit zahlreichen musikalischen Beispielen.

Eine Veranstaltung zum 150. Todesjahr und 225. Geburtstag des Komponisten

   Spohr - Bibliography (a selection)

     "Regarded by many contemporaries as worthy of a place beside Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven in the pantheon of the
    greatest composers, he has, together with Gluck and Cherubini, been allotted a considerably lower status by posterity.
    Mozart's Figaro and Wagner's Tristan were both composed during Spohr's lifetime; his own work looks Janus-like
    towards the formalism and clarity of the Classical tradition, and the structural and harmonic experimentation

    associated with 19th-century Romanticism."

    Clive Brown, Oxford University, edited a ten volume collection of Spohr's works with introductions
   (Faksimiles, Reprints and new Manuscript Scores). They are unfortunately out of print.

   Brown, Clive (Editon & introduction). Louis Spohr: The Complete Lieder Sets. Vol.1 & 2. Garland Publishing, Inc.
   New York & London. 1988

   Brown, Clive about SPOHR  in: The New Grove II (London 2001), including a full bibliography.

   Gangi,U. "SPOHR - un musicista affogato nel Biedermeier e dimenticato"

   Mimesis Edizioni, Milano 2007     

   Weyer, M. "Spohr, Louis" , The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians,
   Macmillan Publishers Limited. 1980.

   Longyear, R. Nineteenth-Century Romanticism in Music, Prentice Hall. 1988.

   Pleasants, H. (transl.)  The Musical Journeys of Louis Spohr [written by the composer himself]. 
 University of Oklahoma  Press.1961.

Louis Spohr: Festschrift und Ausstellungskatalog zum 200. Geburtstag (Ausstellungkataloge / Staatsbibliothek
Preussischer Kulturbesitz; Hartmut; Hrsg.: Hartmut Becker) 

Mayer, Dorothy Moulton. The Forgotten Master. The time and life of Louis Spohr. Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London.1959.

Spohr, Louis. Selbstbiographie.Vol. 1 & 2. Reprint fom 1860/61, Cassel. Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel. 1954.

Spohr, Louis. Autobiography. Reprint from 1865, London. Da Capo Press New York. 1969.

Spohr, Louis. Autobiography. First unabridged edition by Folker Goethel, Tutzing. 1968.

Homburg, Herfried. Louis Spohr. Bilder und Dokumente seiner Zeit. Erich Roeth Verlag, Kassel.1968

Rummenhöller, Peter. Louis Spohr - Ruhm und Vergessenheit eines Kompomisten zwischen Romantik und Biedermeier.
in: Romantik in der Musik. dtv/Bärenreiter.1989

Goethel, Folker. Thematisch-Bibliographisches Verzeichnis der Werke von Louis Spohr.H. Schneider, Tutzing. 1981


Our recommendation:





Brown, Clive. Louis Spohr: A Critical Biography.
Cambridge University Press. 1984.

German version /Deutsch Fassung: Dr. Wolfram Boder.                                                                           
Merseburger Verlag, Kassel. 2009


Moser, Simon. Das Liedschaffen Louis Spohrs. Vol. 1 & 2.
Georg Wenderoth Verlag, Kassel. 2005.


  Wolfram Boder. Die Kasseler Opern Louis Spohrs.
  Musikdramaturgie im Kontext.
  Vol 1 & 2; Bärenreiter, Kassel. 2006

   Dr. Wolfram Boder edited the orchestra score and the piano vocal score of DER ALCHYMIST
   for the Internationale Spohr Gesellschaft e.V. in Kassel, Germany for the performance at
   Staatstheater Braunschweig in 2009.                                                                                             
   He is a member of the Spohr Society of the United States of America.



 THE MUSICAL TIMES  Vol. XXV.  London 1884

 Spohr's Operas  by Frederick Corder. In 3 parts: p. 385-389;  p. 444 -448 and p. 508 -512.
 [Available at]  

                                             DER ALCHYMIST  WoO 57 am Staatstheater Braunschweig


   The Hoftheater in Cassel  at the time of Louis Spohr                                                                                               Washington Irving


                                                                          The libretto to Spohr's opera DER ALCHYMIST (Kassel 1830),
written by Karl Pfeiffer, is based on the novel
                                                                                                          The student of Salamanca ( in: Bracebridge Hall) by the
                                                                                                                        American author Washington Irving (1783 - 1859).
Louis Spohr             Irving died in the same year as Louis Spohr.

Edited by Dr. Wolfram Boder

Published by the International Spohr Society in Kassel, Germany
PREMIERE: Sunday, May 24, 2009, 7:30 p.m.

Conductor: Christian Fröhlich
Production: Uwe Schwarz
Ausstattung: Dorit Lievenbrück
Chor: Georg Menskes / Johanna Motter

Bernd Weikl (Don Felix de Vaquez), Moran Abouloff (Inez, seine Tochter),
      Jörg Dürmüller
(Don Alonzo de Castros), Jan Zinkler (Don Ramiro de Loxa),
           Susanna Pütters
(Paola), Mike Garling (Lopez)


 Pietro von Abano The University of Leeds  March 6 & 7, 2009

 Review by Wolfram Boder, in: OPERA 5 / 2009

It is always very special to experience an opera on stage for the first time. This was the first British performance
of Pietro von Abano, composed by Louis Spohr (1784-1859) in 1827 in Kassel, Germany.
Under the skilful direction of Professor Clive Brown a lost treasure
of opera was rediscovered, one that had not been heard anywhere for more than 180 years.

The reason for this unjust neglect is the moral objections against the subject matter raised by Spohr's contemporaries.
The opera is based on a novel by Ludwig Tieck and tells the story of the medieval physician and philosopher Pietro d'Abano,
who restores the body of beautiful Cacilia back to life, obviously for sexual reasons. This, of course, like many Romantic stories,
reflects the fears of the contemporary society rather than actually depicting sexual perversions. Spohr was bold enough to face
the social shortcomings of his time and therefore had no objections to presenting them in several guises on the operatic stage.
Censors and theatre directors (as well as a large percentage of the public) had rather different opinions, however, and so it took
almost two centuries for this brilliant and beautiful music to be rediscovered. The scene in which Pietro conjures up the dead
Cacilia is a superb example of Spohr's extraordinary skills in orchestration. The first act, with its alternating choruses (Pietro
and a group of his students come across the funeral procession of Cacilia), offers fantastic scenic and musical moments - especially when
performed with as much youthful energy as it was here.

The singers and instrumentalists, students at Leeds University's School of Music, all acquitted themselves well. Bethany Seymour was a lyrical
and touching Cacilia, and Tom Morss embodied her lover Antonio with much vigour. Jimmy Lawrence (Pietro) was a convincing villain, rightly
avoiding any overacting and therefore being all the more threatening for the cold menace with which he imbued the character. Emily Carew-Gibbs
and David Sommerfeldt sensitively portrayed Cailia's suffering parents. Nathan Palmer did very well as Pietro's servant Beresinth; hobbling across
the stage like the hunchback of Notre Dame, he added much colour to the performance. Brown's historically informed approach proved productive -
he overture especially was played with clarity and much esprit - and his sensitive translation of the German libretto certainly did a lot for the impact
of the production. So too did the simple but effective stage and costume designs.

This production showed two things quite clearly. First, it convincingly proved that it cannot have been musical reasons that were responsible for the
neglect of this fine work; nor can it have been dramatic reasons, for it plays very well on the stage. And second, that this highly interesting opera
deserves a professional production.

Pietro von Abano in Italy Concerto dell´ Opera  September 2010

L'evento del fine settimana a cui però, vorrei dare maggior risalto è il Concerto dell'opera romantica "Pietro von Abano"
(vedi immagine di apertura e locandina a fianco) composta dall'eclettico violinista-direttore-compositore Louis Spohr,
contemporaneo di Beethoven e di Schubert. L'esecuzione di "Pietro von Abano" è dedicata al grande filosofo e medico aponense,
Pietro d'Abano, che visse nella seconda metà del XIII secolo. Il concerto è diretto dal Maestro Dario Bisso Sabadin con proiezione
di immagini Patavine ed Euganee dell'opera. Con il patrocinio e la collaborazione del Comune di Padova e della Città di Abano Terme.
 Il concerto, anzi i concerti, sono in programma domenica 5 settembre ad Abano Terme alle ore 17,30 presso il Teatro Pietro d'Abano
e mercoledì 8 settembre a Padova alle ore 20,30 al Multisala MPX di via Bomporti, vicino alla pizzeria per asporto del mio amico Salah.
L'entrata è su invito che si può ritirare presso i rispettivi IAT, di Abano T. e di Padova.

Pietro d'Abano è senz'altro una delle personalità più famose ed apprezzate del nostro territorio e dedicherò a lui il post di lunedì,
post che verrà inserito nella rubrica "personaggi illustri". L’opera di Spohr rende omaggio a Pietro d’Abano (1257 – 1317) professore
di medicina, filosofia e astrologia alla Sorbonna di Parigi e dal 1306 all’Università di Padova, uno tra i precursori della scienza moderna
e per questo arrestato e torturato tre volte in vita come ateo per ordine di un tribunale ecclesiastico e, la terza volta, morto in carcere a
causa delle stesse torture. Dopo la morte il suo corpo fu esumato e bruciato sul rogo. Malgrado la bellezza della musica di Spohr e
il forte rilievo della sua drammaturgia, l’opera del romantico tedesco fu eclissata dall’avvento di Wagner. L’evento in programma ha
quindi una doppia valenza, quella di voler riportare alla giusta attenzione sia la figura di un protagonista della scena culturale padovana
del ‘300 sia quella di un compositore di respiro europeo.

Dal comunicato stampa di presentazione dell'evento leggo: “I concerti che si tengono ad Abano Terme e a Padova - sottolinea il
Maestro Dario Bisso Sabàdin
, direttore artistico della manifestazione - rappresentano una formula di esecuzione non
rappresentata del frutto di un lavoro di revisione musicologica e marketing territoriale iniziati con grande slancio ed
entusiasmo a marzo 2009, e che trovano la loro giustificazione nel dare una opportunità di ascolto live dei brani musicali più
emblematici dell'opera stessa. Il tutto con un filo logico pertinente e funzionale alla comprensione della trama ambientata
nella Padova e dintorni agli inizi del '300, durante la Signoria dei Carraresi”. “Un filo rosso lega Pietro d’Abano ai Carraresi”,
ribadisce l’Assessore alla Cultura del Comune di Padova,
Andrea Colasio “La doppia esecuzione di questo concerto
ad Abano e in città  richiama l’attenzione sul legame tra l’uomo di genio e l’Università che lo ha accolto, tra l’eclettico
erudito e la Signoria che ha reso splendente l’antica Patavium. Un doveroso omaggio, un ponte tra cultura e turismo”

                             LOUIS SPOHR   Violinschule   Grand Violin School





                                                       First American Edition of Louis Spohr's Grand Violin School, New York 1839.
                                                            Edited by his pupil ("Uriah") Ureli Corelli Hill, (1802 - 1875).
                                    Hill was the founder (1842) and the first conductor of the New York Philharmonic Society.
                                                                     [In possession of the Spohr Society]




                                                                                                      Portrait by E. Harder          Spohr'sches Familienbuch, 1909



                                                                                          US postage stamps
                                                                                                         Louis Spohr stamp, Germany 1959                                          Spohr Society USA                                        


JESSONDA, Act 1, scene 1 . Stage design by Carl Wilhelm Gropius. Royal Opera House Berlin, 1825