**See the end of this post for supplementary information.
This is a project I have wanted to put together for some time, and have been slowly plugging away at it over the last few weeks. Inspired by this video of the opening chords of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, I thought it would be fun to do the same thing with one of our most often performed solo works, the Concerto No. 1 for Horn and Orchestra by Richard Strauss. The result is a montage of styles, sounds, and interpretations, culled from recordings made over the last 60 + years, 1947-2010. This famous opening is among the most recognizable in the horn’s repertoire, and is a perennial requirement for auditions, competitions, recitals, etc. Most of the recordings are from my personal library, supplemented by a few from our music library. It was great fun putting this together, and I hope that viewers find it interesting and useful. Here are a few caveats/items of interest about the compilation.
- I think all of the recording dates are correct, although with iTunes purchases the recording date is not always included with the digital format. The only recording that I couldn’t find a date for was the earlier (I presume) recording by Hermann Baumann and the Cologne Symphony. After a bit of digging, I found that he first recorded the Strauss concertos in 1983 with Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. So, this suggests that the other recording is of a live performance that wasn’t commercially released prior to the CD release in 2009. **Update: the date of this recording is 1974. For more information, see Joseph Ognibene’s excellent article “Hermann Baumann: The Master’s Voice” in the October 2013 Horn Call.
- The wide variety of sound colors and interpretations is really fun to hear back to back, especially each player’s rendering of the forte dynamic.
- One other note is that Dale Clevenger appears twice in this video, once as a soloist (1998), and once as a conductor (2005).
- My liner notes for the 1947 Brain recording say that this was the first recording of Strauss 1, but it would be interesting to try and find anything earlier, even from non-commercially released recordings. Anyone got any leads?
Update: At the (excellent) suggestion of my friend and colleague Daren Robbins, I’ve included links to purchase each of the recordings used in this project. They are all readily available, and of course highly recommended! You can also listen to the sound files of each player individually.
- Dennis Brain (1947) Philharmonia Orchestra, Alceo Galliera
- Dennis Brain (1956) Philharmonia Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch
- Barry Tuckwell (1967) London Symphony Orchestra, István Kertész
- Peter Damm (1970) Dresden Staatskapelle, Heinz Rögner
- Hermann Baumann (1974) Cologne Symphony Orchestra, Günter Wand
- Zdeněk Tylšar (1979) Prague Symphony Orchestra, Jiří ´Bělohlávek
- Hermann Baumann (1983) Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Kurt Masur
- Johannes Ritzkowsky (1985) Wolfgang Sawallisch, piano
- Ifor James (1989) Polish National Radio Symphony, Antoni Wit
- Barry Tuckwell (1990) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy
- Radovan Vlatkovic (1994)English Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Tate
- Andrew Joy (1995) Cologne Radio Symphony, Wolf-Dieter Hauschild
- Marie Luise Neunecker (1995) Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Ingo Metzmacher
- Dale Clevenger (1998) Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim
- Miklos Nagy (1998) Musashino Academia Musica, Kálmán Berkes
- David Jolley (2000) Israel Sinfonietta, Uri Mayer
- Steven Gross (2005) Philharmonia Orchestra of Bratislava, Dale Clevenger
- Eric Ruske (2005) IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Michael Stern
- Radek Baborák (2010) Yu Kosuge, piano
- Nobuyuki Mizuno (2010) Mie Matsuoka, piano
Thanks for all this work. A great source for start thinking on diferent sound conceptions and how much they change over time and coutries.
Very interesting James. Thanks for putting this together. Also it would be interesting (useful I’m not so sure) to show what they were playing on where known.
Thanks Walt! Yes the choices of equipment would be fun to track down!
I loved that video! It was great hearing how different people played the same few measures!
Thanks, Greg Holdiness
This is great!
I think I have a few recordings that are not here that could be added if you would want to go to the additional work of adding them. I don’t think there would be any copyright issues with sharing such small portion of a recording for this purpose.
One interesting and potentially useful thing to do would be list an index of all the recordings on the YouTube site with links allowing you to jump directly to each recording. For example, this video of the Mozart C-minor Serenade uses such links to mark each movement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vkhzVNn5xE
Sure, I’d love to add in some other recordings. It would require re-uploading a new video, but it is very doable. I also like the idea of including links to the recordings. Will work on that this week!