Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4; Rondo in E-flat major

Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4; Rondo in E-flat major

by Jeffrey Bryant
     
 
Jeffrey Bryant began his tenure as principal horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1975, and made this recording of Mozart's complete works for horn and orchestra in 1994. The soloist's decision of whether to use an instrument modeled on a natural horn of Mozart's era or a modern valve horn is

Overview

Jeffrey Bryant began his tenure as principal horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1975, and made this recording of Mozart's complete works for horn and orchestra in 1994. The soloist's decision of whether to use an instrument modeled on a natural horn of Mozart's era or a modern valve horn is the first question connoisseurs of these concertos will ask. Bryant uses a valve horn, which makes sense because he is accompanied by a traditional orchestra rather than an ensemble using period instruments. For fans of the valve horn, this is a very fine performance. Bryant has an exceptionally warm, open, and pillowy tone, characteristics of many of the finest British players, including Dennis Brain and Ivor James. He is easily up to the technical demands of the Mozart concertos, which to be fully effective must sound effortless. The mellowness of Bryant's playing is especially gratifying; there is no hint of the brassiness that can mar performances of music from the Classical era. Only in the closing notes of the fourth concerto's first movement does Bryant play with less than clean attacks (and it's also the only instance where his cadenza is in less than excellent taste). He tends to alternate between using lip trills and fingered trills when it would have made sense for him to stick with lip trills throughout. Thomas Dausgaard's reading with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is a model of understated elegance. Whether or not that's an entirely good thing will depend on the listener's biases; there's one school of thought that these works are essentially playful, and some listeners may find Dausgaard's approach too sober. The sound of the newly engineered release by Sheridan Square is immaculate, with beautiful, clean, transparent tone and excellent balance.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/11/2008
Label:
Royal Phil Masterwrk
UPC:
0723721383350
catalogNumber:
28460
Rank:
310047

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Horn Concerto No. 1 in D major, K. 412/514 (K. 386b)
  2. Horn Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, K. 417
  3. Horn Concerto No. 3 in E flat major, K. 447
  4. Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major, K. 495
  5. Rondo for horn & orchestra in E flat major (fragment), K. 371

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