Martin Wulfhorst: "Louis Spohr und die moderne, werkorientierte Interpretation: `...seine Einsicht in den Geist der verschiedensten Kompositionen und seine Kunst,
jede in diesem ihrem Geist darzustellen'." Das Orchester 46/7-8 (July-August 1998), pp. 2-9.
ALSO PUBLISHED AS: "`...His Insight Into the Characters of the Most
Diverse Compositions and His Ability to Perform Each in Its Own Spirit:' Louis Spohr and the Modern Concept of Performance." Spohr Journal. The Magazine of the Spohr
Society of Great Britain 25 (Winter 1998), pp. 2-10.
ALSO PUBLISHED AS: "Louis Spohr and the Modern Concept of Performance." Journal of the Conductors Guild 18/2 (Summer/Fall 1997, publ. 1999), pp. 66-75. Back
Demonstrates on the basis of contemporary sources that Louis Spohr was one of the pioneers of a novel concept of the musical work which
subordinated the performance to the composition. The concept, which he helped create at the beginning of the 19th century and which is still valid today, was rooted in his aesthetic and philosophical principles--primarily the belief that the artist devotes himself to "ennobling the spirit"--and in the social identity of the middle class, based on individual achievements and creativity. It was part of a `second' culture (in opposition to the `first' culture of opera singers and virtuosos), which linked devoted performing, attentive reception, and the notion of a classical (quartet) repertoire. The new concept entailed: first, an objective component (the "correct
performance"), i.e., the limitation of the performer's licences and the faithful execution of all markings in the score, which Spohr specified as precisely as possible in his own
publications; second and more important, a subjective component ("beautiful performance"),
i.e., recognizing and rendering the "spirit" of each composition--including its historical style.
OTHER INDEX TERMS: performance practice, performance philosophy, metronome, violin fingerings, violin bowing, performance practice, interpretation, quartet, quatuor brillant,
ornaments, Enlightenment, Freemasons, reception of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, vibrato.