Thanks to a friend and former high school classmate, I tracked down a VHS recording of my very first horn recital, which I shared with the same friend. The date was August 16, 1997, and my part of the program was:
- Francaix, Canon in Octave
- Mozart, Concerto, K. 447
- Damase, Berceuse
At the time I was a rising high school senior, and knew I wanted to pursue music performance in college. Listening and looking at the video is really fun, and the playing isn’t half bad (I was also skinnier back then!) Rhythm and tone quality are pretty good, and I was also working on lip trills and E-flat transposition for the Mozart concerto. Earlier that year I had shifted my mouthpiece placement to favor the upper lip, which drastically improved my tone and low range, but required an extensive rebuilding of the high range (perhaps more on this in a future post). This actually took several years, but in the end I think it was the right thing to do in my case. I certainly wasn’t the best high school player around, but I was studying with an excellent teacher and was willing to work hard to improve my playing. The video below is an excerpt from the recital, the first movement of Mozart’s Concerto, K. 447. The cadenza is my own, I believe, although I “borrowed” heavily from recordings by Dennis Brain, Barry Tuckwell, and others. Thanks again E.J. for this blast from the past!