by Louis Spohr -
'Howard Shelley and the Swiss orchestra clearly relish this unusual assignment.'
For a while it seemed as if the nineteenth century would be divided equally between Spohr and Mendelssohn; but Brahms and Wagner disposed effectively of them both. The Fall of Babylon is a topical enough subject, but Spohr's last oratorio is concerned more with the feasting Belshazzar and advancing Cyrus than any premonition of George Bush and his misguided allies. Its first performance was at Norwich in 1842. Many of the locals had taken kindly to Spohr's previous offering of Calvary; not so the puritanical clergy. The Monthly Chronicle described the situation in Norwich Cathedral: 'We now see the fanatical zealot in the pulpit, and sitting right opposite to him the great composer, with ears happily deaf to the English tongue.'
Copyright © 30 March 2010
CD INFORMATION: SPOHR SYMPHONIES; 'DER FALL BABYLONS'