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A noble and melancholy instrument

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Paul Dukas
Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov
Gioachino Rossini
Camille Saint-Saëns
Robert Schumann
Franz Joseph Strauss
Gilbert Vinter
Performer Alasdair Beatson
Alec Frank-Gemill
Period Romantic
Catalogue Number BIS-2228 SACD
EAN 7318599922287
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Mar 2017
Total time 65'56

Historic horns and pianos
The 19th century saw huge developments in the design of many musical instruments. In some cases changes were adopted more or less universally: the fortepiano that Mozart knew, a five-octave instrument constructed entirely of wood, had by around 1900 grown into the modern grand piano with over seven octaves and a cast-iron frame. With other instruments, progress was less streamlined. As late as 1865, the natural, valveless horn of Beethoven's time remained the instrument of choice for Brahms when he wrote his famous Horn Trio, and when valves began to be introduced, makers and musicians in Germany, France and Vienna favoured different solutions, offering different results in terms of sound and requiring different playing techniques. The present disc is a unique combination of recital and history lesson, with a young British team performing music from between 1800 and 1942 on no less than eight different historic instruments: four horns and four pianos. This gives us the opportunity to hear the works on instruments that the different composers would have recognized, whether Beethoven's Sonata in F major (a natural horn from 1800 and a fortepiano from 1815) or the Villanelle by Paul Dukas from 1906 (an early 20th-century cor à pistons and a Bechstein from 1898). Both notable performers on modern instruments, Alec Frank-Gemmill and Alasdair Beatson here revel in the sonic possibilities offered by the historic instruments with results that are as delighting as they are enlightening.
 
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  Ludwig van Beethoven
  Sonata i F major for piano and horn, Op. 17 15'01
01 I. Allegro moderato 8'33
02 II. Poco adagio, quasi andante 1'23
03 III. Rondo. Allegro moderato 5'05
 
 
  Robert Schumann
  Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 9'10
04 Langsam, mit innigem Ausdruck 4'05
05 Rasch und feurig 5'05
 
 
  Franz Joseph Strauss
  Nocturno, Op. 7
06 Andante quasi adagio 5'45
 
 
  Gioachino Rossini
  Prelude, Theme and Variations
07 Andante maestoso - Poco più mosso 10'28
 
 
  Camille Saint-Saëns
  Romance in E major, Op. 67
08 Adagio 7'59
 
 
  Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov
  Rêverie, Op. 24
09 Andantino 3'45
 
 
  Paul Dukas
  Villanelle
10 Très modéré - Très vif 6'53
 
 
  Gilbert Vinter
  Hunter's Moon (Version for horn and piano)
11 Allegro (with good humour) - Gaily - Lento (very tenderly) 6'50
 
  Album total 65'56
ComposerBeethoven, Ludwig van
Dukas, Paul
Glazunov, Alexander Konstantinovich
Rossini, Gioachino
Saint-Saëns, Camille
Schumann, Robert
Strauss, Franz Joseph
Vinter, Gilbert
HornFrank-Gemill, Alec
PianoBeatson, Alasdair

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