Friday, September 28, 2012

Montage #73 - Mozart and his horny friends/Mozart... et en-cor plus





As of November 2nd, 2012, this montage will no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address / A compter du 2 novembre 2012, ce montage ne sera plus disponible en baladodiffusion Pod-O-Matic. Il peut être téléchargé ou entendu au site Internet Archive à l'adresse suivante:

http://archive.org/details/MozartAndHisHornyFriends



pcast073- Playlist

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English Commentary – le commentaire français suit

For this final installment of the Mozart… and much more series, we turn to one of my favourite instruments – the French Horn. I don’t know about you, but the French Horn has a sound I simply love to hear. When it’s played well, the horn can sound just as melodious as any other instrument of the orchestra.

My commentary will be divided into two distinct parts: Mozart horn music I chose to integrate to this montage, and the other works.

From the Mozart catalogue, I chose one of Mozart’s four horn concertos (the number 1), played so brilliantly in this vintage recording by England’s Dennis Brain. In last week’s Once Upon the Internet, I provided a pair of horn concertos, and embedded the last one in the French commentary. We are set in that department!

The next Mozart work on the montage is the Posthorn serenade.

The post horn (also posthorn, post-horn, or coach horn) is a valveless cylindrical brass or copper instrument with cupped mouthpiece, used to signal the arrival or departure of a post rider or mail coach. It was used especially by postilions (early mailmen) of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The instrument commonly had a circular or coiled shape with three turns of the tubing, though sometimes it was straight. It is therefore an example of a natural horn. The cornet was developed from the post horn by adding valves.

The first trio of the second minuet of the serenade (the sixth movement) features a solo flautino (or piccolo) played over strings. The second trio of the second minuet features a solo for the post horn. It is that solo which gives the serenade its nickname.

The recording I chose is a vintage performance by the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and the solo horn is provided by a real post horn (either that, or our horn player had a really bad day at the office…),

The Mozart works are bookended by a pair of fine horn works – the first is Carl Czerny’s Andante and polacca for horn and piano. Czerny's music was profoundly influenced by his teachers, Clementi, Hummel, Salieri and Beethoven. This small chamber work sounds very Beethoven-like, and the performance by Marsolais and Jalbert ois right on the mark.

As for Schumann’s Kozertstuck for four horns, it is a hair-raising delight! This is one of the composer's most neglected works in my opinion - this is unfortunate because it is an inventive, compelling work that rewards repeated hearings. It should not be compared to concertante works of the German repertoire, but rather  it should be discussed in terms of its lyric quality and harmonic ingenuity.

I think you will love this music too.

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Commentaire français


Nous finissons notre série Mozart... et encore plus avec un joli jeu de mots, qui suggère amplement le sujet de ce dernier montage - dédié au cor (parfois appelé cor français afin de le distinguer de son cousin, le cor anglais).

Pour commencer, parlons de la partie Mozart de ce montage, à commencer par le premier des quatre concerti pour cor d'Amadeus, dans un enregistrement d'époque signé Dennis Brain et Karajan dirigeant le Philharmonia de Londres. Le quatuor de concerti est incomplet - si on compte les deux concerti suggérés sur Jadis sur Internet récemment. Pour compléter l'ensemble, voici le second concerto (interprète et accompagnement non-identifiés).


L'autre suggestion musicale Mozartienne est sa sérénade posthorn.

Le cor postal, ou cor de postillon, ou cornet postal est un instrument de musique utilisé par certains porteurs de courrier. Ils signalaient ainsi leur arrivée et leur départ d'un lieu pour que les destinataires et les expéditeurs de lettres puissent venir à leur rencontre.

Il s'agît d'un instrument sans valves ou pistons (à l'instar du cor moderne), et est à la fois son ancêtre et celui du cornet. Mozart réserve une section du menuet du 6e mouvement de sa sérénade à cet instrument, d'où le surnom. La version retenue ici, celle de l'orchestre de chambre de Lausanne, utilise un vrai cor postal - sinon, les ratés du soliste seraient inexplicables...

Pour compléter le montage, j'ai retenu deux pièces pour cor - une oeuvre de chambre de l'émule de Beethoven Carl Czerny et le majeustueux Konzertstuck pour quatre cors et orchestre de Schumann.

Bonne écoute!