Audio Review: Paris 1804 – Music For Horn And Strings

 

Paris 1804: Music for Horn and Strings
Alessandro Denabian, Natural Horn
Quartetto Delfico, String Quartet

In 1804, Paris was a bustling city of cultural and historical influence. Napoleon had crowned himself as Emperor, and while this event clearly impacted Western society, the three composers featured on this album – Cherubini, Dauprat, Reicha – also had a profound impact on the horn world. Each of these composers had a connection to Paris during the 1800s, specifically as teachers at the famed Conservatoire. Although the works performed on this recording were not written in 1804, the historical significance of that date and thereafter played an important role to horn playing and writing.

As the valved horn had just been introduced in 1814, composers flocked to writing for this “modern instrument.” Even though the compositions on this album are fairly standard works, Denabian, a natural horn extraordinaire, brings a historical yet fresh taste to these works. The effortless sounds from Denabian allow the listener to forget the many struggles that come with performing on a natural horn and focus more on the historical interpretations of each piece. Denabian’s technical precision with lyrical finesse allow for any musician to covet those same characteristics when performing music of this period. While many of these compositions are traditionally performed with horn and piano, Quartetto Delfico gaves a beautiful balance of support to Denabian, only rising to the forefront during many of the call-and-response passages.

While the modern, valved horn is the primary choice today, this recording is a valuable resource for students of both modern and natural horns to perform period compositions as originally intended and begin to appreciate the advantages to historical performance.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this recording free from Claudia Nanni, Managing Director of Camaleon Marketing & Events. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith is a trombonist, brass teacher, and blogger. He studied music performance at both Grace College and Carnegie Mellon University, and currently is the bass trombonist for Orchestra Iowa and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Jeremy started Last Row Music as an online resource of job postings and artist links for brass musicians around the world. When he is not performing or blogging, Jeremy is giving brass lessons to students throughout the country from his home in Centerburg, Ohio.