Quintet in c minor Op 52-FL/CL/HN/BSN/PN
Composer: Spohr, Louis
Publisher: Musica Rara (Germany)
for flute, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and piano
by Louis (Ludwig) Spohr (1784-1859)- German composer
Edited by Maurice F. Powell. This piano and wind quintet was composed during the summer of 1820 in London and Gandersheim, and a worthy successor to similar quintets of Mozart and Beethoven. It was much admired by Cherubini, Moscheles, and member's of Reicha's wind quintet. Chopin, too admired the work, and another memorable performance took place when Liszt visited Kassel in 1841.
The quintet is entirely free from the cloying chromaticism that is usually and erroneously associated with Spohr, but there are some of his "striking modulations" and in the lovely slow movement, a surprising anticipation of the opening of "Tristan". The piano writing is extremely taxing throughout with echoes of Clementi, Dussek, and Hummel. The wind writing is idiomatic and rewarding to play but not technically demanding, emphasizing Spohr's desire to keep the piano in the limelight. Although soundly built on classical structures, the work is Romantically felt, particularly the scherzo with its hauntingly beautiful horn theme and wistful anticipations of Chopin and Brahms.