Spohr: Double Quartets 1 (Forde Ensemble) (Naxos: 8.570963)
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A champion of Haydn's, Mozart's and Beethoven's chamber music, Louis Spohr also made a considerable contribution to this genre, composing 36 string quartets and four double quartets, these latter unique in the repertoire.
Spohr harnessed the potential of eight string players, mainly deployed as two groups of four, to create attractive pieces rich in antiphonal interplay, brimming with engaging melodies and shimmering with a high polish.
The first, from 1823, pays tribute to Spohr's idol Mozart, while the second, from 1827, integrates the players into a more evenly balanced whole.