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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67509
Recording details: May 2004
Örebro Konserthuset, Örebro, Sweden
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Phil Rowlands
Release date: April 2005
Total duration: 9 minutes 47 seconds

'An outstanding disc, excellently recorded' (Gramophone)

'An outstanding disc, excellently recorded' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Michael Collins … has all the requisite showmanship and panache for Spohr's gymnastic extravagances, [he] colours his tone imaginatively and phrases the lyrical melodies with real finesse' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Michael Collins is one of Britain's Top Guns these days, and he gives a stirring, brilliant performance of these concertos and the interesting and delicious Potpourri and Variations. The orchestra is excellent, with Mr O'Neill providing sympathetic support. Hyperion's sound is some of the best I've heard, rich and deep' (American Record Guide)

'This is excellent material for the aspiring clarinettist or the adventurous collector, and this release also serves as an ideal introduction to this long and unjustly neglected composer' (Fanfare, USA)

Potpourri in F major, Op 80
1811; on themes from Peter von Winter's opera Das unterbrochene Opferfest

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The 1810 Frankenhausen festival was such a success that another was planned for 1811, also under Spohr’s direction. For this one he was invited to compose a symphony (his first, in E flat major, Op 20) so that Hermstedt, who naturally put in a plea for another new clarinet piece, had to be satisfied with a ten-minute work. Spohr composed the Potpourri in F major in the spring of 1811 and it was first played at Frankenhausen on 11 July that year.

The Potpourri was no mere medley; rather its two chosen themes were used as the basis for virtuoso variations. Spohr selected his two numbers from a then highly popular opera, Das unterbrochene Opferfest (‘The interrupted sacrificial feast’), by the Mannheim composer Peter von Winter (1754–1825), and produced what is in effect a three-movement concertino. The opening section, Larghetto, works with Myrha’s aria ‘Ich war, wenn ich erwachte’ (No 9 in the opera) and the prominent horns at the start have been lifted from the opera along with the theme. Next comes an Allegro on a vocal quartet (the opera’s No 8) ‘Kind, willst du ruhig schlafen’, then finally an Allegretto version of the same theme.

from notes by Keith Warsop © 2005
Chairman, Spohr Society of Great Britain

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