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Horn and More, May 2023

Horn and More, May 2023

‍Volume 9, Issue 5, May 2023 


Greetings Visitor, 

Allison DemuelleI hope you are well and have been enjoying a year full of horn playing and music-making! I’m Allison DeMeulle, and I am currently serving as Secretary of the International Horn Society. As we get closer to IHS 55 in Montréal, I’m getting more and more excited for July’s festivities! I look forward to meeting you there and to spending time with all our fellow hornists.

I’m pleased to announce that we have a new member of the IHS Staff, our Social Media Coordinator, Jefferson Montiel Mora. Please scroll down to watch his video introduction and get to know him and his excellent work better!

In the May issue of Horn and More, there are some notable highlights: our new Horn and More Student Liaison, Inman Hebert, offers his ideas for a new student-oriented column; Gabriella Ibarra presents a Spanish-language video interview with hornist Edward Brown; we’ll see Part 2 of Angela Winter’s interview with Catherine Likhuta; and there’s a special article about Franz Strauss written by Johannes Dengler—along with much more from around the world.

Happy reading and practicing!

Warmly,

Allison DeMeulle
IHS Secretary

DVA LESNÍ ROHY NA PÓDIU

uk flag English version

„povídání s Bedřichem Tylšarem“

napsal Zdeněk Divoký

divokySedíme v útulné kavárně v Praze na Smíchově a povídáme si s Bedřichem Tylšarem (1939), českým hornistou a pedagogem, který společně se svým bratrem Zdeňkem (1945–2006) vystupoval v sólovém koncertním duu mezi lety 1965–2000 na významných pódiích Evropy i v zámoří a jako pedagog vychoval několik generací českých hráčů na lesní roh.

Výčet jím iniciovaných a nahraných dvojkoncertů pro lesní rohy (LP a CD) je mimořádný a i v dnešní době unikátní. Jeho a bratrovou péčí se do té doby málo známá díla českých klasických autorů (Rosetti, Fiala, Rejcha, Pokorny, etc.) ale také díla zásadních jmen ve vývoji evropské hudby (Telemann, Vivaldi, L. Mozart, J. Haydn) dostala do širšího povědomí. 

Vzpomínám si, že jsem při studiích v Brně někdy kolem 1973 poslouchal v bytě svého kamaráda hornisty na starém gramofonu desky a dostala se mi do ruky první nahrávka bratrů Tylšarů pro Supraphon (Czech label) s dvojkoncerty Vivaldiho, Telemanna a Haydna. Jako studenta konzervatoře mě tato nahrávka doslova „uhranula“. Lehkost a samozřejmost s jakou Zdeněk Tylšar hrál corno primo i pohyblivost a zřetelnost partů corno secondo (Bedřich) se spojila do lahodného fenoménu hornového dvojhlasu.

Ve skrytu bylo rozhodnuto: chtěl jsem se tomuto ideálu přiblížit a interprety, kteří v té době působili v Praze v České filharmonii, blíže poznat a hlavně – naučit se pořádně hrát na lesní roh. 

Dnes si ale povídáme a já se ptám:

ZD: „Rozumím tomu, že jako dva bratři hrající na stejné nástroje a studující u stejného pedagoga (prof. František Šolc – Janáček Music Akademie Brno) a později hrající v orchestru České filharmonie v Praze se toto spojení nabízí, jak a proč jste ale začali s dvojkoncerty?“

BT: „Někdy kolem 1962 jsem byl v Belgii a navštívil v Bruselu obchod s hudebninami. Mimo noty zde měli také oddělení na poslech různých desek. Najednou jsem uslyšel hornový dvojhlas – myslím, že to byl Haydn. Už nevím, kdo byli interpreti, ale bylo to krásné. Napadlo mě, že tyto dva nástroje jdou svou bohatostí alikvotních (harmonických) tónů ideálně dohromady a že by se na tom dalo „stavět“. Pomalu jsem začal pátrat v archívech v Československu i v zahraničí, navázal kontakty s řadou kolegů (např. Edmond Leloir) a dával dohromady notový materiál. Ukázalo se, že celé 18. stol. bylo v tomto žánru velmi plodné a bohaté. První vystoupení s bratrem bylo 1964 v Olomouci a hráli jsme dvojkoncert A. Rosettiho Es dur.“

ZD: „Party dvojkoncertů barokního a klasického období jsou někdy technicky mimořádně náročné. Uvážíme-li, že byly prováděny na přirozené a invenční rohy, je jasné, že interpreti té doby museli být na vysoké úrovni“

BT: “Ano, ať už to byli reprezentanti barokního „clarino style“ v Drážďanech, hornisté Houdek a Hampel nebo později duo Palsa a Thürrschmid nebo Nagel a Zwierzina ve Wallersteinu – jejich umění bylo nepochybně pro skladatele vynikající inspirací“.

ZD:“ V této souvislosti bych rád připomněl ještě jednoho raně klasického českého skladatele, který působil v druhé pol. 18. stol. v Itálii, je to Josef Mysliveček (Mysliweczek; 1737–1781). Ten sice žádný hornový dvojkoncert nenapsal, ale jiskřivá Aria in Dis pro koloraturní soprán, lesní roh a orchestr je příkladem dobové virtuozity. Nedávno jsem v Praze shlédl nový český film „IL BOEMO“ o životě tohoto skladatele a tato árie z opery Bellerofonte je tam citována. Myslivečkova hudba oscilující mezi barokní vznešeností a klasickou rozverností je hluboce krásná“.

BT: “Souhlasím. Mysliveček byl v kompozici žákem Františka V. Habermanna (1706–1783), což byl ve své době skladatel evropského formátu. Party horenkoncipoval ve stylu německého baroka-podobně jako Bach, Händel nebo Zelenka. Mysliveček tento styl převzal a naplnil ho vlastní invencí.“

ZD: “Když se dívám na staré fotografie z vašich prvních koncertů, vidím na portrétu (cca1970), že jste v této době s bratrem hráli na lesní rohy Alexander 103, to ale nebylo v té době v tehdejším Československu obvyklé, že?“

tylsar album

BT: „To jistě ne. Poválečná generace hornistů v České filharmonii hrála na nástroje Knopf, Kruspe nebo Josef Lídl. Já jsem měl to štěstí, že jsem se během svého působení v Německu (2 roky jako sólohornista Münchener Philharmoniker 1967–69) poznal osobně s panem Antonem Alexanderem, tehdejším šéfem firmy v Mainzu. Na tyto nástroje (A 103) jsme potom s bratrem začali hrát. Pan Alexander často jezdil na naše koncerty po celém Německu. Tohoto přátelství si dodnes velmi vážím“.

ZD: “Ještě bych rád vzpomněl tvého bratra Zdeňka, po jehož boku jsem hrál více než 30let v České filharmonii. Byl pro mě vzorem talentu, energie a muzikality. V době mého příchodu do filharmonie (1979) hrál sólohornu a já jsem nastoupil na pozici 3. horny. V té době (mezi1970 – 2000) byl velký boom nahrávání desek, ať už to byly LP nebo později CD. To byl celosvětový trend, počet nahrávacích společností té doby byl ohromující. Nahrávali jsme téměř všechno: komplety Mahlera, Dvořáka, instrumentální koncerty, komplety oper. V té době bylo ve filharmonii běžné, že jsme na pódiu seděli 7 hodin denně: dopoledne orchestr 3 a půl hod. zkoušel, odpoledne bylo nahrávání. Často byla nahrávací frekvence také v den koncertu, které byly 3 v týdnu, často také v sobotu. Zdeněk Tylšar toto vše odehrál bez asistenta a tzv. střídače, prostě vždycky hrál všechno výhradně sám. Samozřejmě kromě orchestru měl ještě mnoho vlastních sólových projektů, dvojkoncerty, hrál v komorních ansámblech. Bez nadsázky mohu říci, že po těch 40let kariéry hrál doslova od rána do večera“.  

BT: „Ano je tomu skutečně tak. Často jsem za něj musel řešit „administrativu“, když se mu více projektů anebo třeba zahraničních cest sešlo v jednom termínu“

ZD: „Děkuji za rozhovor a přeju vše dobré“



‍Meet the People—IHS Social Media Coordinator

by Jefferson Montiel Mora


Did you know…

…that vendors can advertise in this Newsletter? Instrument and music sales, camps and festivals, universities and conservatories, and other IHS vendors can purchase ad space in Horn and More! Go to the online advertising page on the IHS website for information and instructions, scroll down to Horn and More, then check the tickbox in the “banner” column to begin the process. Promote what you offer and support the IHS!


Horn on Record

by Ian Zook

Volume 7—Roland Horvath

For this installment of Horn on Record, we journey into the farthest reaches of our repertoire, thanks to one of many recordings made by Austrian hornist Roland Horvath. On the album Horn und Tuba, “two instruments – two interpreters – two composers,” Horvath is joined by a cadre of collaborating musicians performing music for horn and piano, horn and two guitars, and tuben quartet with bass tuba!

While no recording date is documented for this album, Horvath made a great many recordings for Aricord Digital all dating from the early 1980’s that extend across the standard repertoire for horn and piano, as well as chamber combinations of horn with voice, with harp, and with cello. This particular recording features Roland Horvath dedicating performances to two of his fellow Austrian composers, Konrad Musalek and Kurt Anton Hueber.

horn and tuba

Roland Horvath, born in Vienna in 1945, attended the Theresian Academy and studied math and general music education, which lead to an early appointment teaching music theory at the University of Performing Arts in Vienna. He concurrently studied several aspects of music: horn with Gottfried von Freiburg, Leopold Kainz, and Josef Velba, in addition to piano, violin, guitar, voice, composition, and conducting.

Horvath began playing professionally with the Vienna Radio Orchestra in 1965, and then subsequently joined the Vienna State Opera Orchestra in 1966, followed by the Vienna Philharmonic in 1981. He has been very active as an ambassador for our instrument, having served as the President of the Wiener Waldhornverein (the oldest horn association in the world), Advisory Council of the International Horn Society (1987-1993) and Vice President (1991-92), and also as President of the Austrian-Korean Music Association. He performed and presented at horn symposia across the world throughout the 1980s-1990s and has also composed and arranged several works for horn, including Der Ring des Nibelungen Fantasy for Horn and Piano.

The A-side of the album features three interwoven works by Konrad Musalek, a composer and music theorist who taught at the Pädagogische Akademie and Franz Schubert Konservatorium in Vienna. As noted on the album jacket, Musalek characterizes his style as “free atonal and ametrical which means that it is not based on a scale and has no rhythmical patterns.”

These three short works are meditations on the same opening motive—a brief, 16-note horn call that musically evokes a short question-and-answer. This is, perhaps, Musalek’s own contemporary musing on the idée fixe used by both Berlioz and Balzac in the 1830’s.

The opening of Musalek’s Sonate für Horn und Klavier, op. 35, is three movements in quick succession: the purposeful 16-note motive, a rapid layering of this motive with a churning and relentless piano overlay, and a sudden expansion of time through an expressive horn cadenza. Horvath uses vigorous articulation and a broad, sustained style to maintain the presence of the horn motive:

Musalek Sonate für Horn und Klavier

Quite an oddity for a chamber pairing, Musalek’s Sonate für Horn und Zwei Gitarren, op. 92, continues his manipulation of the 16-note motive but includes many percussive elements from the guitarists as well. The interplay and phasing of the dual guitar accompaniments lends an almost improvisatory feel:

Musalek Sonate für Horn und Zwei Gitarren

On the album’s B-side, we encounter two multi-movement works for Tuben quartet and Bass tuba, both by Kurt Anton Hueber. Also, in the realm of an avant-garde compositional style, Hueber notes that his music “began with linear polyphonic and tonal structures and developed to twelve-tone compositions and non-harmonic systems.”

In his Osiris Hymnus, op. 27, based on an Egyptian poem, the Tuben quartet plays with a sinewy and singular sound, melding together a complexly interwoven melody. This quartet features Roland Horvath alongside long-time Vienna Philharmonic hornists and colleagues Roland Berger, Willibald Janezic, and Wolfgang Tömbock:

Hueber Osiris Hymnus

The last selection, Hueber’s Requiem, op. 21, interestingly, does not include Roland Horvath in the ensemble. Regardless, this is music of probing intensity and compositional intrigue. The performers clearly draw on their legacy of Brucknerian repertoire to balance and blend with the bass tuba, creating a consort sound that is deftly tuned and quintessential in sound color!

Hueber Requiem

This program of music, beautifully and effectively played by Roland Horvath, reminds us that the extent of our music catalog is vast indeed! Especially as these chamber pairings can be difficult to facilitate (not one but two guitarists?), it is that much more valuable to have these foundational recordings preserved—and that’s what we do here at Horn on Record!



Honorary Member Nominations

The IHS Honorary Membership Nominating Committee invites any current IHS member in good standing to nominate deserving living artists for the Horn Society's highest honor. Please visit www.hornsociety.org/ihs-people/honoraries for information on our Honorary Members and instructions on how to submit a nomination.


‍Entrevista—Edward Brown

‍con Gabriella Ibarra


‍Unique Volunteer Opportunity: Paper Archivist

The IHS is looking for our next Paper Archivist! Our archives are housed at the Eastman School of Music, but you don't need to be geographically located near there to hold this position. We are grateful to Peggy Moran for her years of service in this role, and her gracious offer to help with the transition to answer questions and guide our new archivist through the process. 

The official description of this role states:

  1. (The Archivist is) responsible for maintenance-level processing of all archival materials and for administering the Records Management Policy.
  2. (The Archivist is) appointed by the Advisory Council (AC) according to IHS Hiring Policies, to solicit, receive, weed, process, and transport materials according to the current IHS Records Management Policy. The Archivist may also, at his or her discretion, recommend changes to this Policy, which must be approved by the IHS AC, and which, after approval, will be communicated to the Archive location Head of Special Collections. The Archivist will report annually to the IHS AC, with a copy of same to the Head of Special Collections.
  3. Once materials have been weeded and transported to the Archive location, the Head of Special Collections (or designee) will assume full responsibility for oversight of the IHS Archive, including any additional maintenance-level processing of all archival materials, administering the IHS Records Management Policy, and ensuring compliance with all provisions of the current agreement as enacted, together with any revisions that may be effected at any time.

If you have any questions, please ask! Interested? Send inquiries and/or a resume and cover letter to exec-director@hornsociety.org by June 15, 2023.


Eine denkwürdige Begegnung mit der Vergangenheit

uk flag English version

von Johannes Dengler

denglerVor kurzem hatte ich die große Freude, mit meiner Kollegin Milena Viotti das Instrument meines berühmten Vorgängers Franz Strauss zu präsentieren. Das Bayerische Staatsorchester feiert in diesem Jahr sein 500jähriges Jubiläum und zu diesem Anlass wurden einige kurze Videos produziert, die sich auf die Geschichte unseres Orchesters beziehen. Seit 30 Jahren nun darf ich als Solohornist auf eben demselben Stuhl in der Bayerischen Staatsoper spielen, und so löste die erste Begegnung mit diesem originalen Instrument für mich eine denkwürdige und eindrückliche Reise in die Vergangenheit aus. Von dieser will ich nun berichten.

Vieles ist überliefert und wissenschaftlich erforscht und publiziert über die Persönlichkeit von Franz Strauss und seine Stellung und Bedeutung in der Musikgeschichte – ich kann hierzu inhaltlich nichts Neues beitragen. Nähert man sich dem Instrument aber rein phänomenologisch im Hier und Jetzt, gibt es doch einiges zu sagen.

Zum einen fällt das Kunsthandwerk auf. Jede Schraube, jedes Kleinteil stammt ja nicht wie heute aus perfekter industrieller Massenproduktion, sondern aus kleinen Auflagen, die überwiegend in Handarbeit hergestellt wurden und eine viel größere Streuung in der Qualität aufwiesen. Ich kann mir nur vorstellen, dass der Rohstoffmarkt z.B. für Messing im Baujahr 1867 ein völlig anderer war als heutzutage. Auch die spezielle Form des Instrumentes mit einer sehr langen zylindrisch bleibenden Mensur und einem dramatisch sich konisch öffnendem Schalltrichter ist mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit einer Zusammenarbeit des Meisters Ottensteiner mit Franz Strauss zuzuschreiben. Der dahinterstehende künstlerische Wille aller Beteiligten, das beste Resultat auf allen Ebenen mit wenigen Versuchen und wenig Erfahrungswerten zu erreichen, scheint mir bemerkenswert. Mit Sicherheit konnten nicht einfach so wie heute viele baugleiche Hörner in vielfach bewährter Ausführung zum Auswählen bereitgestellt werden.

Dieses Horn ist in vielerlei Hinsicht also ein erster Startpunkt und das mit ihm uraufgeführte Repertoire (z.B. Rheingold 1869, Walküre 1870, Meistersinger 1868) noch gar nicht bekannt zum Zeitpunkt seiner Herstellung. Ich persönlich würde sogar so weit gehen und nicht ausschliessen, dass die Erfahrung mit der Uraufführung des Tristan im Jahre 1865, also 2 Jahre vor der Herstellung des Ottensteiner Horns, Franz Strauss bewogen haben könnte, von der Grundstimmung in F auf ein B- Horn zu wechseln. Ein Tristan auf dem 3 ventiligen B-Horn erscheint mir kaum zu realisieren, gibt es doch viele gestopfte Einzeltöne in Legatopassagen, die nur unbefriedigend darauf zu realisieren sind. Damit verstieß er bewusst gegen die allgemeine Konvention, ein F-Horn zu spielen, und wählte seinen individuellen Weg- wie man aus Berichten weiß gegen beträchtliche Widerstände und Anfeindungen seiner Kollegen und mancher Dirigenten.

Aus den Anekdoten über Franz Strauss kann man auf seine große künstlerische Sensibilität einerseits und auf einen hohen Perfektionsdruck auch in der damaligen Zeit schließen. Als ich nur einige wenige Töne auf dem messerscharfen Mundstück gespielt habe und in den Dienstlisten gesehen habe, dass Franz Strauss diese Wagnerschen Werke allein, ohne Wechselmöglichkeit und Assistenten, mit unzähligen Proben in der damaligen autoritär geprägten Zeit gespielt hat, habe ich mich schlagartig an meine eigene Anfangszeit in unserem Orchester und die damit verbundene normale anfängliche Überforderung mit diesem Repertoire an vielen Punkten leibhaftig erinnert. Ich konnte jedoch auf alle Erfahrungen meiner Kollegen und eine systematisierte Ausbildung zurückgreifen. Franz Strauss musste sich all dies mit einem unvorstellbaren Talent selbst erkämpfen.

Aus diesen Gegebenheiten erschließt sich mir persönlich die innere Ablehnung, die Franz Strauss gegenüber Wagner gehabt haben soll, als unmittelbar und auch körperlich einleuchtend. Ich denke nur an eigene Erfahrungen mit Uraufführungen in heutiger Zeit.

Die Form des Instrumentes und die Beschaffenheit des Mundstückes (sehr große Bohrung, geringe Innenweite und scharfer Rand) scheint zu korrelieren mit Franz Strauss‘ Bemühungen, den damaligen klanglichen „Sweet Spot“ des Nationaltheaters in München zu finden. Dieses Nationaltheater mit seinen über 2000 Sitzplätzen war in Franz Strauss Wirkungszeit bei einer Bevölkerungszahl von höchstens 150 000 Einwohnern in München geradezu riesenhaft dimensioniert. Wie man den bewundernden Zeugnissen seiner Zeitgenossen bis hin zu Richard Wagner entnehmen kann, scheint ihm das mit diesem Horn gelungen zu sein- eine offene, gesangliche, phrasierende Spielweise von natürlicher Schönheit, die in das gesamte Theater projizieren konnte. Um dieses Ziel zu erreichen, ist er mit der Wahl der Grundstimmung in B seinen eigenen Weg gegangen. Dies war teils seiner starken Persönlichkeit geschuldet, die Konflikte nicht gescheut hat, teils aber auch einer skrupulösen Sensibilität und Reaktion auf die anfängliche Überforderung dem neuartigen Repertoire gegenüber.

Franz Strauss‘ individueller Stil als Hornist ist im Werk und in den Hornpartien seines Sohnes Richard lebendige und prägende Horngeschichte geworden- hier finden wir das geistige Ideal des Hornklanges, mit dem Richard Strauss selbst aufgewachsen ist. Dieser Stil wurde durch die architektonischen und akustischen Gegebenheiten des Münchner Nationaltheaters genauso mitgeprägt wie durch die Auseinandersetzung und die notwendige Anpassung an die Herausforderungen des neuartigen Repertoires.

Einen weiteren Punkt will ich abschließend erwähnen. Wäre nicht eine so fähige, begabte und letztlich auch mutige Persönlichkeit wie Franz Strauss am 1.Horn der Königlichen Hofoper in München zu finden gewesen, wäre wohl auch Richard Wagners Art für das Horn zu schreiben, nämlich spätestens ab Tristan, es nämlich ab da zu einem vollwertigen, ja zentralen Element seiner Opernkompositionen zu machen, nicht denkbar gewesen. Die Geschichte unseres Instrumentes und der folgenden Hornpartien hängen also direkt von dieser einzigartigen Persönlichkeit ab.

Für die heutige Zeit und uns Hornisten kann man dies alles immer noch als inspirierendes Vorbild nehmen. Der „richtige“, eigene Klang und die richtige Dynamik in einem bestimmten Saal und die eigene, individuelle Spielweise sollte unsere Instrumenten- und Mundstückwahl bestimmen und den Willen, das beste „Setup“ ohne allzu große Rücksicht auf allgemeine Konventionen unserer Zeit zu wählen und mit Instrumentenbauern an der Weiterentwicklung unserer Instrumente zusammenzuarbeiten. Nun gilt es, das Feuer weiter in die Zukunft zu tragen und künftige Komponisten und das Publikum von der Wandlungsfähigkeit und unmittelbaren Ausdruckskraft unseres Instrumentes zu überzeugen.



Want to know all about the IHS? Go "old school" and 

‍Buy the Book!


‍The Indiana University Natural Horn Workshop, June 5-9, 2023, is a week-long event for players of all levels, from beginner to professional, led by Professors Richard Seraphinoff and John Manganaro. Participants attend lectures on history and performance practice, receive individual lessons, and participate in masterclasses, rehearsals, and a final performance. For information on how to register and other details, visit jacobsacademy.indiana.edu/descriptions/natural-horn-workshop.html. To contact Professor Seraphinoff with any questions, please email him at seraphin@indiana.edu.


Ein Waldhorn Lustig

Carnyx vs Cornu

‍‍Interview—Dr. Catherine Likhuta, part 2

with Dr. Angela Winter


Meet the People—Horn and More Student Liaison

by Inman Hebert

inmanhebertMy name is Inman Hebert. My first introduction to the horn came with our junior high band program. Six years later, I am graduating from Prattville High School in Central Alabama, and in the fall, I will attend the University of Alabama to pursue a music performance degree while studying with Charles “Skip” Snead.

In my private lessons with Dr. Brenda Luchsinger, horn professor at Alabama State University and the Alabama state coordinator for the International Horn Society, she encouraged me to join the IHS. I have been a proud member for the past four years, and I currently have the privilege of serving on the Student Advisory Board.

I plan to integrate more student-oriented content into the Horn and More newsletter, and I am always open to your ideas. Particularly, I would like to feature young winners of prominent solo competitions, accentuating the diverse stories behind the young stars of our community. Additionally, I want to highlight the various opportunities available for young horn players, from camps to competitions and symposiums.

The horn community’s generosity during the pandemic with its online offerings opened my eyes to the experiences available to horn players. By contributing content in an online format, I hope to increase the participation of the younger generation in the IHS and encourage them to explore. You are welcome to contact me at studentliaison@hornsociety.org.



Did you know...

...that Horn and More is open to your suggestions for content? We are seeking ideas and materials for the Newsletter from all parts of the world and from all levels of players. In fact, we are hoping to include regular Student and Amateur columns very soon! Horn and More wants to be accessible to and available for every horn player. Let our editor know of your ideas and interest by emailing hornandmore@hornsociety.org


Composer Spotlight—Violet Archer

by Caiti Beth McKinney

Hello horn friends!

violet archerThis month, I’m introducing Canadian composer Violet Archer. Although her parents were Italian immigrants and her original last name was Balestreri, with the unrest of the 1940’s and the start of WWII, her family legally changed their last name to Archer. However, her compositional style was influenced by her heritage and a childhood spent in Italy. In fact, one of her brass quintets is entitled I va vari.

Archer began composing at age 16, and soon after, she attended McGill University where she studied piano and organ. Interestingly, upon her graduation she began performing with the Montréal Women’s Symphony Orchestra and then the New Haven Symphony Orchestra as a percussionist; but she regularly played the clarinet and various string instruments as well. In the summer of 1942, Archer traveled to New York City to take composition lessons with Belá Bartók. Through his instruction, Archer developed a lasting interest in the use of folk music in her compositions. Additionally, while completing a master’s in composition at Yale University from 1947 to 1949, her primary professor was Paul Hindemith.

Among her 330 compositions are several which feature the horn, including four brass quintets. The lengthiest of these is a twenty-minute, multi-movement work entitled Divertimento, which features a wide range of moods and colors. Archer also composed Sonata for Horn and Piano, a challenging work which (to my ear) is reminiscent of Hindemith’s tonal language. Enjoy Buffalo Jump, the first movement of her highly technical work for baritone, horn, and piano, Prairie Profiles (featuring hornist David Hoyt).



Pedagogy Column—The Yin and Yang of Composing Music and Playing the Horn

by Kerry Turner

k.turner 190I began horn when I was 10 years old. One of my very first gigs was playing 3rd horn on Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the San Antonio Choral Society. I was only in sixth grade. After rehearsing for a month, I started writing my own music in a similar style. I sat down at our piano and began composing oratorio-type pieces. My mother, who was a concert pianist, became aware of this talent and decided to teach me how to actually notate music. She gave me a few music theory tips as well. Throughout my junior high and high school years, I composed a lot of tone poem-style pieces. My parents encouraged me to concentrate on composition and not so much on horn. I won a large composition department scholarship to Baylor University, but I decided to double major in horn as well. When I transferred to the Manhattan School of Music, I was encouraged to specialize, so I chose the horn. It was only when I began my activities with the American Horn Quartet that I took up composing again. 

At the beginning of my composition career, I was writing specifically for the members of the American Horn Quartet, whose playing abilities I knew intimately. Shortly after that, when I began composing for other people, I sometimes considered their playing abilities, and sometimes I didn’t. For example, I have been commissioned by a few amateur ensembles, and of course I had to take that into consideration. When I am in the process of composing, I allow the creative muse to dictate what I am writing. But I really tried to keep my eye on the level of difficulty. As a performer, I am very much aware of the need to leave enough time for rests during the course of the piece. But for some of the commissions I get for professional symphony orchestras, I’m well aware of the proficiency for which I am writing. 

For many years, when I agreed to a commission, I included a phrase in the contract that stated that the commissioner is aware of the compositional style of the composer. There were people who commissioned me and were expecting an avant-garde piece or postmodern work. I always live by the philosophy that composers should be true to their own voices. Although my musical language is predominantly tonal, I have studied, experimented in, and incorporated other styles of composition, which composers today have inherited—for example, twelve-tone, minimalism, extended techniques, and neo-medievalism. I have never changed my musical language to suit a commissioner’s personal taste. The times I have tried to experiment with more dissonant, “modern” composing, it has not been a success. 

Did composing change me as a horn player? The large answer to that is “no.” The recent answer to that is “yes.” Certain friends of mine have encouraged me to write somewhat easier pieces. When I say easier, I mean not as extreme in the demands of the range, and maybe not so technically difficult. Also, as an older player, I’m hesitant to write extremely difficult pieces for myself. But in the end, the muse dictates what I do. A classic example of this is my new work for IHS 55 for four horns and string orchestra. I kept the horn parts fairly reasonable, but there is a complex fugue in the last movement with about 16 devilishly difficult bars for the soloists. 

After you’ve composed a lot of music and studied a lot of compositions from many different periods, especially new music, you learn to understand music much more quickly and at a deeper level. I’ve also learned how to spot the passages in a composition that were probably difficult for the composer to write. Very often in my orchestra during rehearsals, I became clearly aware of the composer’s mammoth accomplishment in a certain passage. And I have often wanted just to stand up and ask everybody if they were also aware of what an unbelievable miracle that passage is! This happens especially often with Richard Strauss and J.S. Bach. 

Composing is a special gift. I’m not so certain that it can be taught and learned if you don’t already have an aptitude for it. I know this is not a popular thing to write. However, I would advise those who want to follow this path to study the compositions of the great masters. When you are in the zone, 90% of what you are writing is inspiration. But you really must hone your technical skills to get you through the remaining 10%. I think that might be a quote from Brahms, actually. 

When you are presenting your music to your colleagues in the hope that they will play it, try to present them with short pieces, pieces that properly represent your ability. Musicians are much more likely to try your piece if it is short. If they want more, someone will ask for it. 

Years ago, a friend of mine once told me to be very careful about which pieces I release to the world. People will form an opinion about your ability as a composer from that single hearing. So make it good! 



IHS 55—Halls and Locations

by Louis-Philippe Marsolais 

The 55th edition of the International Horn Symposium is fast approaching, and for the occasion, we wanted to introduce you to some of the places that will host the different concerts from July 24 to 29!

The two concert halls that are part of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal have been named in honor of great Canadian musicians of the 20th century. Claude Champagne (1891-1965), a great teacher, composer, and pianist, left a great legacy in Quebec. In addition to having composed an immense catalog of symphonic works incorporating Quebec folklore, he was, as early as 1942, one of the first directors of the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal—one of the three largest musical institutions in Montreal—along with the faculties of music at the universities of Montréal and McGill. An avenue bearing his name was inaugurated after the composer's death and on this street is the Claude Champagne Hall. Every year, there are dozens of concerts presented by the orchestra, the big band, the choir, and various ensembles of the UdeM, operas, and much more! Its size, 950 seats, allows large-scale events, and its clear acoustics are much appreciated by the musicians who perform on its stage. Located at the top of a hill, the panoramic view of Montréal from the foyer of the hall leaves no one indifferent! The major events of the symposium will take place there.

Champagne Hall

Of more modest size (140 seats), the Serge Garant Hall is ideal for chamber music concerts, lecture recitals, masterclasses, and solo recitals. Formerly a chapel, the stained-glass windows which adorn the large walls to the right and left of the stage are magnificent, and even more so at sunset. This warm room, named in honor of Quebec composer Serge Garant (1929-1986), invites intimacy, and its two high-quality pianos (Yamaha and Fazzioli) will resonate during many of the symposium's events. Some of the competitions, masterclasses, and recitals will be presented there.

garant hall

A few steps away from the Faculty of Music is the Vincent-d'Indy School of Music and its Marie-Stéphane Hall, the largest in the institution. It was Sister Marie-Stéphane (1888-1985), composer and teacher, who founded the École Supérieure de Musique d'Outremont, which became, in 1932, the École de Musique Vincent-d'Indy. Straddling the line between high school and university, the institution is named after the influential French composer and teacher Vincent d'Indy (1851-1931). Interestingly, Sister Marie-Stéphane studied composition with, among others, Claude Champagne. The blue ceiling and colored stained-glass windows of the room that bears her name are part of the charm of the place, in addition to its beautiful columns and ornate mezzanine. With two pianos, an organ, a projector and screen, and a complete lighting system, this room is the perfect place for concerts and shows. The American Horn Quartet, Katerina Javurkova, and many other artists will be heard here.

maison symphonique

Just cross Mount Royal and head south to the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles where an artistic and multicultural ecosystem abounds. Theaters, plazas, festivals, concert halls, and excellent restaurants are clustered in a vibrant and exciting 1 km square. Located here is the magnificent Maison Symphonique, a concert hall with over 2,100 seats. Designed according to the highest acoustic standards in the world, its walls are covered with Quebec beech wood, a material known for its acoustic qualities and appreciated for its beauty. Since its inauguration in 2011, it has been the pride of Montrealers and has welcomed, in addition to the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain, and Les Violons du Roy, many prestigious orchestras and soloists visiting Quebec have performed here, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Emmanuel Pahud, Martha Argerich, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and many others. Installed in 2014, the imposing Grand Orgue Pierre Béique (Casavant op. 3900) with its 109 registers, 83 stops, 116 ranks and 6,489 pipes is also located here. A concert with the Canadian National Brass Project and guest horn players will allow us to appreciate its incredible acoustics.

amphitheatre

If you don't want to miss the biggest musical event of the week, you must go to the Fernand Lindsay Amphitheatre. Located a little over 30 minutes from the island of Montréal, this cultural mecca in the city of Joliette (my hometown) is a must-see. Every summer, it hosts nothing less than the largest classical music festival in Canada. (One has only to look at the long and impressive list of internationally renowned artists and ensembles to see that!) Perhaps it is the magic of the site—70 hectares of greenery on the banks of the Assomption River—that has won the hearts of music lovers in the region? or its exceptional acoustics? One thing is certain, since its construction in 1989, the success of this unique venue is undeniable. This open-air concert hall can accommodate close to 7,000 people on the best days of the summer! In 2010, the venue was renamed in memory of Father Fernand Lindsay, a man with a heart as big as the earth who made music shine more than any other in the Lanaudière region throughout his life. It is in this enchanting setting that the Orchestre Métropolitain and its conductor and artistic director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will present “Strauss at the Summit” on July 28: horn players (and music lovers) will have their ears full of Schumann's Koncertstück (with Sarah Willis, Stephan Dohr, Yun Zeng, and myself) and Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie. And if you are a student and would like to participate, you can register for the Alpine Symphony Competition until June 1st. You’ll get a chance to take the stage (or backstage, I should say) and be part of this symphonic monument!

See you in Montréal this July!

Louis-Philippe



Upcoming Events

IHS 55: July 24-29, 2023 in Montréal, Quebec. ihs55.org

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