Louis Spohr’s career as a composer encompassed Beethoven’s Opus 18 string quartets and Wagner’s ‘Tristan and Isolde’. He spent a large part of his working life as the Kapelmeister in Kassel and was an important influence in early German Romanticism, writing 9 symphonies, 15 violin concertos and a number of operas including ‘Jessonda’ (perhaps his best known) and ‘Faust’. As a conductor he was one of the first people to make use of a baton, a fact which alarmed London orchestras when he first conducted them. A virtuoso violinist, Spohr wrote chamber music all his life. The two recorded here were originally part of a Marco Polo series of Spohr’s quintets and quartets.