60 Years of Strauss 1 Recordings!

**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.




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