String Quartet No.22 in d minor, Op.73 No.3
"The Opus 74 string quartets are among Spohr's best. They are fine examples of his musical personality but based on the principles set down by Mozart."---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
String Quartets fascinated and occupied Louis Spohr (1784-1859 also known as Ludwig) through out his life. He began composing them around 1806 at the age of 22 and continued right up until the end of his life. Op.74 No.3 is the last of a set of three string quartets which composed around 1825. Spohr was not only one of the leading violinists of the first half of the 19th century, he was also well-known quartet player, composer, conductor and director at various musical courts throughout Germany. During his lifetime and for a long time thereafter, Spohr was widely regarded as one of Europe's most important 19th century musical personalities .
Bertrand Jacobs, writing in The Chamber Music Journal has this to say:
"With Op.74 No.3, we have an equally great masterpiece, The Allegro, all in 3/2 time, consists of sweeping themes. The Adagio is very dramatic. The Scherzo, in 3/4 time races along also in high drama but in a relaxed Trio the beat is extended to 6/4. The Finale, Presto, is of exceptional interest. It reaches a level of contrapuntal complexity, rare in the classical quartet This never fails to thrill the players and listeners. One wonders if Spohr was inspired by the unusual 2nd movement allegro of Haydn's Op.55 No.2. If so he extended the drama even further, using a theme like a Rossini aria with operatic touches. The movement ends in quiet murmurs. Once played, you will never forget it."
Spohr wrote several string quartets, known as Quatour Brillants, which were nothing more vehicles for the first violin. This quartet is NOT such a work. We have reprinted the original edition but have added rehearsal numbers.