Part I: Fifty Great Solo Horn Recordings

By Matthew Haislip, D.M.A.


We live in an unprecedented time. Music is instantly available to us at our fingertips. YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, and other online music mediums allow users to hear practically any known piece of music in music history whenever they desire. As these platforms have increased in popularity, the traditional physical recording format has diminished. This access to music has done some good for musicians. Unlimited access to music is educationally invaluable. YouTube can bring out the humanity of live performance where sterilized and edited recordings have often unintentionally manufactured a perception that absolute perfection as achievable and expected. A hungry student of the horn has exponentially more resources than students of any other generation have ever had.

At the same time, this on-demand access has potentially caused some harm for musicians as well. The most obvious harm is the loss of royalties for recorded music. The financial return to artists is not fair, and it is often bypassed completely. Another potential problem this availability has created is that there is now a muddled sea of music and videos online, and it is growing wider and wider. It might be challenging for a listener to discover great recordings when views or popularity is the primary metric for search engine results.

I would like to help alleviate these issues by offering a series of three articles in which I provide my recommendation of 150 of my favorite commercially released Compact Discs. Part one in this series features fifty of my favorite solo horn albums. These recordings primarily consist of traditional works, transcriptions, or arrangements for solo horn in the context of horn alone and/or in collaboration with an orchestra or a piano. Part two will feature fifty chamber music CDs, and part three will feature fifty orchestral music CDs. Many of the artists on this list have other equally worthwhile recordings, but I have only listed one recording for each artist for this first list. Additionally, there are numerous long play (LP) records that have not been converted to CD that hornists should know as well. The argument could be made that LPs sound better than digital recordings, however, many people do not have access to a record player, and artists are still releasing CDs today, so my lists will only feature CDs.

 

It is my hope that this series will encourage hornists of all ages and backgrounds to explore the many great recordings we have. The list is organized by alphabetical order. Enjoy! 

  • Allesio Allegrini: Mozart Horn Concertos, Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Radek Baborak: Invention: Solo Works for Horn, Label: Cryston
  • Thomas Bacon: Nighthawks: The Music of Alec Wilder, Label: Summit Records
  • Hermann Baumann: Hermann Baumann: Perspectives, Label: Philips
  • Nigel Black: Corno Cantabile, Label: Cryston Records
  • Tod Bowermaster: The Horn in Song, Label: CD Baby
  • Dennis Brain: Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4; Quintet, Label: EMI Classics
  • John Cerminaro: A Life Of Music, Label: NSS Music
  • Alan Civil: Mozart: Horn Concertos 1-4 (Otto Klemperer, cond.), Label: EMI
  • Dale Clevenger: Joseph Haydn and Michael Haydn Horn Concertos, Label: Teldec
  • David Cooper: French Horn & Piano Collaboration, Label: David Cooper
  • Peter Damm: Romantic Horn Concertos, Label: Berlin Classics
  • Stefan Dohr: Strauss: Music for Horn and Piano, Label: Campanella Musica
  • Pip Eastop: Mozart: Horn Concertos, Label: Hyperion Records
  • Alec Frank-Gemmill: A Noble & Melancholy Instrument, Label: BIS
  • Janine Gaboury-Sly: Music for Horn by Hindemith and his Students, Label: Mark Custom
  • Lowell Greer: Mozart Horn Concertos, Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • David Griffin: For You, Label: David Griffin
  • Guildhall Soloists (various): Guildhall Horn Soloists, Label: Cala Records
  • Martin Hackleman: Solitary Hotel, Label: Siegfried's Call Artist Series
  • Johannes Hinterholzer: Mozart Horn Concertos, Label: OEHMS Classics
  • Gregory Hustis: Lyrical Gems for the Horn, Label: Crystal Records
  • David Jolley: Villanelle: French Masterworks For Horn, Label: Arabesque Recordings
  • Richard King: 21 Schubert Lieder, Label: Albany Records
  • Ab Koster: Ab Koster Plays Dutch Horn Concertos, Label: NM Classics
  • Frank Lloyd: No Limits, Label: Music Tobi
  • Philip Myers: Principal Horn of the New York Philharmonic, Label: Cala Records
  • Miklós Nagy: Sperger: Horn Music, Label: Hungaroton
  • Marie-Luise Neunecker: Strauss: Horn Concertos/Britten: Serenade, Label: EMI
  • Francis Orval: Mozart: Horn Concerti, Label: Marcophon
  • Ib Lansky-Otto and Ingegärd Øien: The Scandinavian Horn, Label: BIS
  • Andrew Pelletier: Celebration: Horn Music of Randall Faust, Label: MSR Classics
  • Abel Pereira: Mozart: Horn Concertos, Label: AP Records
  • David Pyatt: British Horn Concertos, Label: Lyrita
  • Stewart Rose: From the Forest, Label: Arabesque Recordings
  • Eric Ruske: Virtuoso Music for Horn & Piano, Label: Albany Records
  • Bruno Schneider: Mozart: The Horn Concertos, Label: Claves Records
  • Bernhard Scully: Dialogues En Français, Label: Albany Records
  • James Sommerville: Chamber Music For Horn, Label: Marquis Classics
  • Esa Tapani: An Idyll for the Misbegotten, Label: Jase
  • James Thatcher: Now Playing, Label: Summit Records
  • Michael Thompson: The Golden Echo, Label: Nimbus Records
  • Wolfgang Tomboeck: The Art of the Vienna Horn, Label: Naxos Records
  • Barry Tuckwell: The Art of Barry Tuckwell, Label: Decca Records
  • Zdeněk Tylšar: Horn Concertos, Label: Supraphon
  • Adam Unsworth: Snapshots, Label: Equilibrium Records
  • William VerMeulen: Mozart Horn Concertos 1-4, Label: Carlton Classics
  • Radovan Vlatkovic: Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1 & 2, Label: EMI Classics
  • Frøydis Ree Wekre: Frøydis Ree Wekre, Horn, Label: Crystal Records
  • Gail Williams: Deep Remembering, Label: Summit Records

Dr. Matthew Haislip is a prolific hornist, teacher, and composer. He joined the faculty of Mississippi State University as Instructor of Horn in 2016, and he teaches horn students at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp during the summer months. He holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, and Texas A&M University-Commerce. His personal website may be found at www.matthaislip.com.