A Noble & Melancholy Instrument / Frank-Gemmill, Beatson

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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 castiron 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 release 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 20thcentury cor à pistons and a Bechstein from 1898). Both notable performers on modern instruments, Alec FrankGemmill and Alasdair Beatson here revel in the sonic possibilities offered by the historic instruments with results that are as delighting as they are enlightening.



Product Description:


  • Catalog Number: BIS-2228


  • UPC: 7318599922287


  • Label: BIS


  • Composer: Alexander Glazunov, Camille Saint-Saëns, Franz Strauss, Gilbert Vinter, Gioachino Rossini, Ludwig van Beethoven, Paul Dukas, Robert Schumann


  • Performer: Alasdair Beatson, Alec Frank-Gemmill



Works:


  1. Sonata for Horn and Piano in F major, Op. 17

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

    Performer: Alasdair Beatson (Piano), Alec Frank-Gemmill (Horn)


  2. Adagio and Allegro for Horn/Cello and Piano in A flat major, Op. 70

    Composer: Robert Schumann

    Performer: Alasdair Beatson (Piano), Alec Frank-Gemmill (Horn)


  3. Nocturno for Horn and Piano, Op. 7

    Composer: Franz Strauss

    Performer: Alasdair Beatson (Piano), Alec Frank-Gemmill (Horn)


  4. Prelude, Theme & Variations for Horn in F Major

    Composer: Gioachino Rossini

    Performer: Alasdair Beatson (Piano), Alec Frank-Gemmill (Horn)


  5. Romance for Horn and Piano in E major, Op. 67

    Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns

    Performer: Alasdair Beatson (Piano), Alec Frank-Gemmill (Horn)


  6. Rêverie for Horn and Piano, Op. 24

    Composer: Alexander Glazunov

    Performer: Alasdair Beatson (Piano), Alec Frank-Gemmill (Horn)


  7. Villanelle for Horn and Piano

    Composer: Paul Dukas

    Performer: Alasdair Beatson (Piano), Alec Frank-Gemmill (Horn)


  8. Hunter's Moon

    Composer: Gilbert Vinter

    Performer: Alasdair Beatson (Piano), Alec Frank-Gemmill (Horn)