The cantata Das befreite Deutschland (‘Germany liberated’) was composed in Vienna early in 1814 following Napoleon’s disastrous defeat at the battle of Leipzig in October 1813; the plan was to mount it during the Congress of Vienna later that year but the project was thwarted. Consequently it was first heard at the Frankenhausen Festival on 19 October 1815, the second anniversary of the Leipzig battle. The overture starts in C minor with a powerful and ominous slow introduction including imaginative use of trombones, then the Allegro moderato enters in C major with a main theme which has a sense of striving before the arrival of the jaunty second subject.
from notes by Keith Warsop © 2008
Chairman, Spohr Society of Great Britain