I'm a bit late to the party but I have finally recovered from a 4 week bug which has been preventing me from listening to music, so here's a quick stab at a review. I am writing this 'blind' without the Amazon thread on a long-haul flight, so apologies for any repetition of thoughts and ideas expressed before.
First movement - for me the most enjoyable movement, mainly because I feel it didn't outstay it's welcome (yikes). Semi-Baroque in style, but not particularly reminiscent of Bach or Handel.
Second movement - definitely outstayed its welcome unfortunately. In that sense it was very un-Haydnesque and un-Mozartian as their works have enough genius and economy of effort to retain my attention. I didn't feel that there was any development in the music and the final section just felt like recycled material of the opening section.
Third movement - sounds like early Beethoven, at a stretch! I feel it owes more to Mozart and so defies the naming of the movement, but there was at least some development in the music.
Final movement - this is the movement for me that most closely resembles the period it is supposed to represent. Sounds like a Rossini overture which makes it's placing in the work seem rather odd. Enjoyable with enough invention to keep interest.
In summary, it's an interesting work with a premise of merit. Unfortunately it largely fails to live up to expectations because the individual movements are not up to the standard of the master composers which they represent. It's a work which is a novelty/curiosity a best, and to which I can't see myself returning very often. If anything, it made me want to listen to some Haydn or Beethoven - if that was Spohr's intention he has very much succeeded!
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