The First Double Quartet was written during March and April 1823, and was published as Op 65 two years later. Spohr’s London friend the organist, composer and conductor of the London Philharmonic Society concerts, Sir George Smart, was present at a performance of the work whilst on a visit to Kassel in November 1825, and wrote in his journal: ‘The quartet took 28 minutes […] The effect was good. Spohr played beautifully. It is very difficult for the four principal instruments.’ He also noted the seating arrangements which emphasized the concertino/ripieno relationship between the two quartets: two separate groups, the first violin and cello in each group facing each other. Spohr was delighted with the reception given to his First Double Quartet, and flattered when a young composer, Louis Pape, later Hofkomponist at Oldenburg, sent him a double quartet of his own.
from notes by Maurice Powell © 1998