While to today’s listener Spohr’s music may not sound particularly adventurous, in his day he was considered a highly original voice, a pioneer of the early romantic era. Yet although he was once accorded similar standing to musical greats such as Beethoven, Spohr’s music faded into relative obscurity soon after the composer’s death. While some commentators attribute this to a lack of flair or genuine originality , it is worth remembering that many now-famous composers have, at times, been similarly neglected. Indeed, in recent decades several of Spohr’s chamber works have once again come into favour.
This Septet was written towards the end of the Spohr’s life, following a visit to England during which the composer decided to fashion a piece for piano with instrumental accompaniment. With its formal classical structures enfolded by warmly expressive harmonies, the resulting work is a fluent example of music straddling two very different eras.