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A noble and melancholy instrument

The 19th century saw huge developments in the design of many musical instruments. In some cases changes were adopted more or less universally: the fortepiano that Mozart knew, a five-octave instrument constructed entirely of wood, had by around 1900 grown into the modern grand piano with over seven octaves and a cast-iron frame. With other instruments, progress was less streamlined. As late as 1865, the natural, valveless horn of Beethoven's time remained the instrument of choice for Brahms when he wrote his famous Horn Trio, and when valves began to be introduced, makers and musicians in Germany, France and Vienna favoured different solutions, offering different results in terms of sound and requiring different playing techniques. The present disc is a unique combination of recital and history lesson, with a young British team performing music from between 1800 and 1942 on no less than eight different historic instruments: four horns and four pianos. This gives us the opportunity to hear the works on instruments that the different composers would have recognized, whether Beethoven's Sonata in F major (a natural horn from 1800 and a fortepiano from 1815) or the Villanelle by Paul Dukas from 1906 (an early 20th-century cor à pistons and a Bechstein from 1898). Both notable performers on modern instruments, Alec Frank-Gemmill and Alasdair Beatson here revel in the sonic possibilities offered by the historic instruments with results that are as delighting as they are enlightening.
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    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
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$ 15.80
Extra material for download
  Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van
  Sonata in F major for piano and horn, Op. 17 14:48
01 I. Allegro moderato 08:30 $ 2.05 USD
02 II. Poco adagio, quasi andante 01:22 $ 0.33 USD
03 III. Rondo. Allegro moderato 04:56 $ 1.22 USD
  Composer: Schumann, Robert
  Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 09:01
04 Langsam, mit innigem Ausdruck 04:03 $ 0.98 USD
05 Rasch und feurig 04:58 $ 1.22 USD
  Composer: Strauss, Franz Joseph
  Nocturno, Op. 7
06 Andante quasi adagio 05:35 $ 1.38 USD
  Composer: Rossini, Gioachino
  Prelude, Theme and Variations
07 Andante maestoso - Poco più mosso 10:18 $ 2.51 USD
  Composer: Saint-Saëns, Camille
  Romance in E major, Op. 67
08 Adagio 07:46 $ 1.92 USD
  Composer: Glazunov, Alexander Konstantinovich
  Rêverie, Op. 24
09 Andantino 03:33 $ 0.90 USD
  Composer: Dukas, Paul
10 Très modéré - Très vif 06:44 $ 1.65 USD
  Composer: Vinter, Gilbert
  Hunter's Moon (Version for horn and piano)
11 Allegro (with good humour) - Gaily - Lento (very tenderly) 06:20 $ 1.64 USD
  Album total 65:56
ComposerBeethoven, Ludwig van
Dukas, Paul
Glazunov, Alexander Konstantinovich
Rossini, Gioachino
Saint-Saëns, Camille
Schumann, Robert
Strauss, Franz Joseph
Vinter, Gilbert
HornFrank-Gemill, Alec
PianoBeatson, Alasdair

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