IHS E-Newsletter - March 2015

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Hallo liebe Horn-Freunde,

Herzlich Wilkommen in die zweite Ausgabe des E-Newsbriefs der Internationalen Horngesellschaft! Da wir tatsächlich “international” sind, möchten wir euch - unsere mehrsprachigen Kollegen aus aller Welt - ermutigen, mal mitzumachen. Schickt uns bitte eure Lieblingsvideos, Bilder, Meinungen, egal was, ein. Wir werden unser Bestes tun, den multikulturellen Charakter des IHS, zu fördern und zu reflektieren. Meine erste Mitgliedschaft bei dem IHS war Geschenk eines meinen ersten, besten Lehrers, Prof. Edward Kammerer (University of Oregon.) Als ich 15-18 Jahre alt war, habe ich bei ihm ungeheuer viel gelernt, nicht nur die technischen Aspekte des Hornspielens, sondern auch wie man sich vertrauen muss, der eigenen musikalische “Stimme” zu folgen. Er war auch ein erstklassiger Mensch. Eugene, Oregon trägt den Spitznamen “The Emerald City” (Die Smaragd-Stadt), dank dem ausgiebegen Regenfall. Darum heißt das Horn-Club The Emerald Horn Club – “The Green Hornists.” In 1988 kam der große Philip Farkas, dessen Besuch vom Emerald-Hornclub und dem IHS gesponsert wurde, für ein Workshop,  zu uns. Die Chance, Herrn Farkas kennenzulernen und vor ihm zu spielen, war für diese 18-Jährige unvergesslich und endlos inspirierend. Lasst euch solch eine Gelegenheit nie verpassen. Wenn sich ein Horn-Club in eurer Nähe befindet, schaut vorbei und werdet Mitglied! Sollte es keins geben, könnt ihr Kontakt  mit uns gerne aufnehmen, und wir beraten euch, wie ihr eins gründen könnt. Viel Spaß beim weiterlesen! Viele Grüße, Kristina Mascher, Luxembourg, IHS Advisory Council, American Horn Quartet.

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World Premiere! Funded in part by the International Horn Society

LPO portrait 100mm CMYKOn March 27, the London Philharmonic Orchestra will be premiering Collage: A Concerto for Four Horns and Orchestra, written by James Horner (composer for many movie soundtracks, including: Field of Dreams, Cocoon, Titanic, Braveheart, The Mask of Zorro, Avatar) and funded in part by the International Horn Society's Major Commission Initiative. We're excited to hear the new work and will be bringing you more information after its premier, directly from the members of the quartet: David Pyatt, John Ryan, James Thatcher, and Richard Watkins. To purchase tickets and see more about attending this concert go directly to the LPO website: http://www.lpo.org.uk/whats-on-and-tickets/258-evocative-russian-classics.html

horner quartet

"I have known three of this evening’s four soloists for the last 20 or so years of my professional life as a film composer. Jim Thatcher was the principal horn on one of my first major films, Cocoon. David Pyatt and Richard Watkins have each served as principal horn on so many of my films that I’ve lost track! It was always a dream of mine to assemble this group of brilliant soloists in one room and have them play on a film score. We’d been discussing this for quite awhile when fate intervened and David ‘officially’ asked me to write a four-horn concerto using the above-mentioned players. I jumped at the chance and the piece you will hear tonight is the fruit of that labour. I’d like to express my deepest thanks to Jim Thatcher, David Pyatt, Richard Watkins, to our brilliant fourth soloist, John Ryan, to Jaime Martín and to all the members of the wonderful London Philharmonic Orchestra for making this premiere happen… a dream come true!"
James Horner

Program notes below provided by Gavin Plumley (www.gavinplumley.com)

‘Horns,’ wrote Richard Strauss, ‘are always a yardstick of heroism’. Having been the musical rallying cry of countless huntsmen, warriors and, of course, Wagner’s Siegfried, the instrument also offers an appealing mellifluousness to complement its innate bravura. It has logically become one of the principal characters in the scoring of films and although Oscar® and Grammy Award-winner James Horner is known for his use of more recent technological advances, the ever-versatile horn is a prominent feature within his soundtracks.


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Casual Conversations - Dale & Luca

LuccaWelcome to Casual Conversations,

This month, we share with you a conversation between American hornist Dale Clevenger and Italian hornist Luca Benucci. Our interviewer is Dale Clevenger, principal horn with the Chicago Symphony for 47 years (1966-2013). Luca Benucci has performed all over the world, and for the last 20 years has been the principal horn with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with Zubin Mehta as principal conductor. They begin by speaking about the opening of Bruckner 4, a beautiful moment in horn history. Here is a video of Luca performing the opening passage.

Please enjoy our video of long time colleagues speaking in Italian (and read the English text transcription as well). Send requests for future Casual Conversations to me. Thank you.

Jeff Nelsen, IHS President

Translation by Derrick Atkinson

Luca Benucci and Dale Clevenger Interview

Dale Clevenger (DC): Okay, this is Luca Benucci, famous hornist from Florence, Italy in the Maggio Musicale Opera. He was one of my students, how many years ago? I’ve forgotten.

Luca Benucci (LB): 25 years ago

DC: Really? Oh!

LB: Yes

DC: (expletive)

LB and DC: Laughing

DC: So, you’re now a very famous hornist, soloist, musician, and professor. The first question is, how was it for you to play Bruckner 4? With various Directors, who was your favourite? (Cell phone rings - expletive)

LB: For me, to play Bruckner 4 is a magnificent thing because it’s something very evocative. To think that even after the first measures with the strings who make this sonorous carpet, you need to express, with very few notes, the important continuity of the music. It should be easy, but in reality it isn’t - because the moment itself is difficult. Consequently, doing it with many Orchestras and Directors makes you realise how much you can risk. The last times that I played it [Bruckner 4] was with Maestro Zubin Mehta, and he gives you the possibility to be the soloist. He gives you the possibility to choose the sonority, the phrasing, he follows you… This is a great fortune having a Director like him, who follows everything that you do.

DC: Is he your favourite Director for Bruckner 4, or do you prefer someone else?

LB: With all of the Directors whom I’ve played Bruckner 4, surely Mehta is the one who gave me more, and with whom I’ve had the most fun. That’s the most important thing. I’ve done it in Germany, with other Directors, with many Horns, to try other types of sonorities. I’ve always tended to return to the Vienna Horn and the sound of the F Horn. For which, we return to the sonority of the waldhorn, which represents the forest, and is the horn within the forest that plays a certain kind of horn call, even if it is slow.


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The Art of Chamber Music

Excerpt from a master class by the American Horn Quartet

One of the most common questions the AHQ encounters from students around the world is “How do you make a great chamber ensemble?” Thus the idea for this particular master class was born. I did a rough draft sitting at the picnic table of my friend Prof. Bruce Richards (Liège Conservatory and Liège Philharmonic Orchestra) while his charming daughter showed me pictures of cute baby animals. Sadly, the wildlife didn’t make it into the presentation, but the quartet developed the outline into a class we’ve given many times over the past few years. We have here an excerpt from what we teach in this master class, as well as three videos: 1) a useful tuning exercise, 2) some Brahms, and 3) a bonus feature for IHS members only where Geof, Charlie, Kerry, and I discuss how we are choosing the repertoire for our final concert at the International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles this coming August.

Over the years, we have often been asked how to put together a chamber music ensemble, how to choose members and repertoire, what kinds of technical/artistic considerations come into play, and even how to get along with one another. In this feature, we address two important aspects of ensemble building: 1) balance and ensemble sound, and 2) effective rehearsal techniques and etiquette. This is not intended to be a thorough treatise on these topics, rather more of an exploration with a few ideas for you to try out.


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