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Haydn: The Natural Horn

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 10, 1996
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Cassatio In D Major, Hob. deest: I. Allegro moderato
  2. Cassatio In D Major, Hob. deest: II. Menuet - Trio
  3. Cassatio In D Major, Hob. deest: III. Adagio
  4. Cassatio In D Major, Hob. deest: IV. Menuet - Trio
  5. Cassatio In D Major, Hob. deest: V. Finale. Allegro
  6. Divertimento In E-Flat Major, Hob. II: 21: I. Allegro molto
  7. Divertimento In E-Flat Major, Hob. II: 21: II. Menuet - Trio
  8. Divertimento In E-Flat Major, Hob. II: 21: III. Adagio
  9. Divertimento In E-Flat Major, Hob. II: 21: IV. Menuet. Poco allegro - Trio
  10. Divertimento In E-Flat Major, Hob. II: 21: V. Finale. Presto
  11. Concerto In D Major, Hob. VIId: 3: I. Allegro
  12. Concerto In D Major, Hob. VIId: 3: II. Adagio
  13. Concerto In D Major, Hob. VIId: 3: III. Allegro
  14. Divertimento A Tre in E-Flat Major, Hob. IV: 5: I. Moderato assai (Thema con variazioni)
  15. Divertimento A Tre in E-Flat Major, Hob. IV: 5: II. Finale. Allegro di molto
  16. Divertimento In D Major, Hob. II: 22: I. Presto
  17. Divertimento In D Major, Hob. II: 22: II. Menuet - Trio
  18. Divertimento In D Major, Hob. II: 22: III. Largo
  19. Divertimento In D Major, Hob. II: 22: IV. Menuet - Trio
  20. Divertimento In D Major, Hob. II: 22: V. Finale. Allegro molto


Product Details

  • Performer: Ab Koster, L'Archibudelli
  • Composer: Franz Josef Haydn
  • Audio CD (December 10, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002BZN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,469 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Ab Koster and the soloists and ensemble of L'Archibudelli have executed an outstanding performance of five of Josef Haydn's works for horn with remarkable clarity, precision, and grace. Two divertimenti for horns and string quartet are included and grouped with a horn cassatio, a divertimento à tre, and a D Major Horn Concerto. The use of period instruments (including two Stradivarius and Amata violins) enhances the quality infinitely beyond that of performance on modern instruments. These are true jewels of the musical repertoire, several of which have only recently been discovered in the musical archives of Europe. Highly recommended for fans of chamber music. END
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... of the highest quality, such as maestro Josef Haydn scribbled in reams for his Esterhazy patron's public entertainment, but musical wallpaper despite the skill with which it was composed and with which it is played. I'm referring chiefly to the cassations and divertimenti, all written for the in-house orchestras at Eisenstadt and later at Esterhaza. The orchestra in livery is playing at one end of a grand salon while the aristocratic guests bow and flatter and converse in gilded hexameters. "Nothing too distracting please, Josef, but be sure to give my four highly-paid horn players plenty of rousing passages to display my martial sensibilities!"

Modern French horn players benefit perversely from the reputation their instrument has of being a treacherous beast. Any horn player who acquits himself/herself well, without obvious bloppers, on a number of exposed passages in a concert will receive boisterous applause at the curtain calls. I'm absolutely sure this was true in Haydn's courtly milieu also; half the pleasure an audience gets from a concert with horns comes from hearing the horn players skirt the abyss of burbles and 'clams' that are so much more blatant on their instruments than on any other. Why spoil the fun, then, by giving the poor oxen and oafs (as Mozart called them) keys or valves to lessen the challenge?

In fact, the 'natural' horns -- there were numerous sorts -- of Haydn's era were not such undependable instruments as modern audiences have been told. On any horn or trumpet, the upper registers are played and tuned chiefly by embouchure, not by valves, by employing the upper partials of fundamental pitches. Clappers and keys were eventually added to trumpets to allow players to produce full chromatic scales in their lower register.
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By A Customer on September 6, 1999
Excellent recording fot the horn and chamber music literature. Ab Koster is one of the bests horn players in the world, especially in the natural horn he's unique. The horns that he play are historical documents from Haydn's time. L'Archibudelli it's a fantastic chamber group with the famous cellist Anner Bylsma. A fundamental recording for all the people who loves music.
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Another reviewer was rather dismissive of the music on this CD, and yeah, none of it is exactly Mahler's Ninth, but most people do not venture beyond Haydn's symphonies and oratorios and the Horn Concerto, in particular, is a very nice piece, no dumber than Mozart's four such concerti, and the other pieces that fill up the disc (divertimento\i, etc.) are no dumber than most of Mozart's essays in the genre (maybe that's not saying much, if you're not an admirer of Mozart's lighter stuff!). It's kind if interesting to bring all the horn pieces together; Haydn did not demonstrate any special sympathy for the horn but he handles it very idiomatically. The performances and recordings are just fine.
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