Spohr, Ludwig

Spohr, Ludwig or Louis lo͝ot´vĭkh shpōr, lo͞o´ē [key], 1784–1859, German composer, conductor, and violinist. After touring Europe extensively, he was (1822–57) court conductor in Kassel. His prolific output includes 11 operas, of which Faust (1816) and Jessonda (1823) are the most important; 9 symphonies, many of them programmatic; 15 violin concertos; numerous oratorios and other choral works; and a large quantity of chamber music. His music, which was influential in his day, shows a curious mixture of conservative and progressive tendencies. A mannered chromaticism, derived from Mozart, anticipated that of Wagner, whose works Spohr was one of the first to champion. As a violinist, Spohr developed a style which, through his teaching and his famous Violinschule (1831), became the basis for the German school of violin playing.

See his autobiography (1845, tr. 1878).

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