As I was looking through some of my old records I found this interesting album, which I picked up a while back at a used book store for around $3.00. The record was in excellent condition, so it was a good bargain. The soloist on the album is Hungarian hornist Ferenc Tarjani, with pianist Erzsebet Tusa. I had heard of Mr. Tarjani briefly before, but this LP was my first real chance to hear his playing. The LP notes give a bit of background on his career, at least up to the point when this recording was produced, probably sometime in the 1970s.
Ferenc Tarjani (b. 1938) is in the first line of young Hungarian musicians. He is a member of the Hungarian Wind Quintet that has won prizes at several international competitions. In 1964 he was awarded 2nd prize at the Munich competition for horn players [Hermann Baumann won 1st prize that year, I believe]. He is part leader in the Hungarian Radio Orchestra and has received several Hungarian musical decorations and awards.
For a musician with such a prestigious career, Tarjani isn’t very well known (at least to my generation) in the U.S. I don’t have any current information on him or his whereabouts, but if someone out there does, please comment. The album contains Mozart’s Twelve Duos for Two Horns K. 487, Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 17, and R. Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70. Tarjani plays with a light, clear sound, with a bit of vibrato. Musically the interpretations are really quite nice, as you can hear in the clip below from the Adagio of Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro.
Although the tendency in horn sounds today leans toward homogeneity, I think older recordings like this one have tremendous value, especially to younger players. Our concepts of tone quality may change, but these recordings can still provide a wealth of information on style and phrasing.