The Second Double Quartet was written in December 1827 and Spohr made a conscious effort to treat the two quartets equally. Although there are dazzling solo passages, particularly in the opening ‘Allegro vivace’ and the finale, the overall style is less brilliant. This is music that needs no analysis to support it. It would be difficult to resist the warm, rich melodiousness of the first movement: the rather severe ‘eighteenth-century’ Menuetto with its melting Trio, a duet for violin and viola; the elegant ‘Larghetto con moto’ with its striking pizzicato passages for the second quartet, or the finale’s breathless verve, one of Spohr’s jauntiest inspirations.
from notes by Maurice Powell © 1998