Louis Spohr

Ludwig Spohr

1784 (Braunschweig, Germany)) – 1859 (Kassel)

Beethoven was a great friend of Spohr’s, met in Vienna. Hummel, shown work in progress, encouraged him, while Meyerbeer tried out piano parts (Spohr not being much of a pianist). Paganini, with whom he travelled in Italy, admired him (Spohr thought him both a genius and childish). The 8-year-old Wagner lived next door: Spohr later championed his work, and stayed with him at Mendelssohn’s. Weber, unwilling to move to Kassel for a post he’d been offered, proposed Spohr instead; outwardly friendly, Spohr was privately reserved about Weber’s music. Liszt and Berlioz were encountered at a Beethovian celebration in Bonn.

Alexander Glazunov

Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov

1865 (St. Petersburg) – 1936 (Paris)

Rimsky-Korsakov taught him, becoming more a colleague than teacher: Balakirev introduced them. He dedicated a piece to Siloti, recommended the adolescent Prokofiev study at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and helped set Rachmaninoff’s career back by several years when he conducted his first symphony (drunk). Liszt played Beethoven for him in Weimar, Fokine collaborated with him, and Shostakovich (whose welfare as a student concerned Glazunov) provided him with illegal alcohol. He turned Diaghilev’s offer down, to Stravinsky’s great advantage: Stravinsky admired him, but disliked him as a person.

Alexander Glazunov knew…