I have several performances coming up over the next week or so, including an orchestral concert (Britten, Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, Korngold, Violin Concerto, Grieg, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1) a performance with brass quintet and choir, and two concerts with a horn quartet. The quartet concerts are of particular interest because of the repertoire. On Monday, March 17th our quartet (Les Cors de la Louisiane) will join the Centenary College Camerata for a performance of Stravinsky’s Four Russian Peasant Songs for Female Voices and Horn Quartet, and Robert Schumann’s Jagdlieder, Op. 137 (Hunting Songs) for Men’s Choir and Horn Quartet. We’ll also be performing Eugène Bozza’s Suite for Four Horns on the same concert.
Both the Stravinsky and the Schumann were new to me, and have been very rewarding to prepare and rehearse. As might be expected, the Stravinsky is full of fun “licks” for the horns, and the quartet parts are often independent of both one another and the choir. The original version of the work is for unaccompanied female voices, and Stravinsky added the horn parts at a later date. If you ever perform this work, be aware that there are some differences in the first movement between the quartet parts and the vocal score. Figuring these out in advance will help save time at the first rehearsal. There are quite a few recordings of the original a capella version, but I was only able to find one recording with horn quartet (Stravinsky conducting). You can check out samples from each movement here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/stravinsky-conducts-stravinsky/id401560244. The image at right is from the album cover. It’s a charming piece, and well worth the time it takes to work out all of the tricky rhythmic devices Stravinsky employs.
Schumann’s Jagdlieder is more straightforward than the Stravinsky, but also lots of fun. The style is of course rooted in hunting horn music, but with some interesting chromatic chords in the slow movements. Much of the writing in the fourth song, Frühe (Morning) reminds me of the second movement of the Konzertstück. Here’s a video from a live performance of the first song (performers not listed).
Later in the week we’ll perform again on a concert series in Marshall, TX. It’s a light program, with a variety of original and arranged works for horn quartet. Here’s the list.
- Bozza, Suite (Selections)
- Shaw, Frippery No. 5
- Scheidt/ed. Jones, Canzon Cornetto
- Turner, The Ghost Town Parade, from Quartet No. 3
- Tchesnokov/arr. Wood, Salvation is Created
- Bach/arr. Shaw, Fugue in C Minor
- Kallstrom, Headbanger
If you are within easy traveling distance of either of these performances we’d love to see you there!