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Order number B 108 037
Horn Trios: J. Brahms, G. Ligeti, C. Koechlin
 
 
Brahms, Ligeti, Koechlin: Horntrios

CD

Price EUR 15,50
*



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Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Trio for French horn, violin and piano op. 40

György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Trio for violin, horn and piano

Charles Koechlin (1867-1950)
Quatre petites pièces pour piano, violon et cor (Four little pieces for piano, violin and horn)

Recorded at FARAO Studios Munich, 2008

booklet:
(German, English)
· texts
· biographies
The Münchner Horntrio (Munich Horn Trio)
Johannes Dengler, natural horn & double horn
Markus Wolf, violin
Julian Riem, piano


Natural sounds, and "romantic" gestures

Brahms' Horn Trio (Op. 40) composed in 1865 belongs to the most important and pivotal chamber music works of his entire output and has been recorded by the Munich Horn Trio exactly as he wanted to hear it: using historical instruments dating from the time of its composition!

Julian Riem plays on a perfectly restored Bechstein piano made in 1862, Johannes Dengler uses a reconstruction of an 1803 Halari natural horn and Markus Wolf has at his disposal a Stradivarius made in 1722.

The distinctive feature of the natural horn is its own particular tone quality which differs on each note of the scale. It was with this quality of sound in mind that Brahms wrote this piece, and for the rest of his life he tried to prevent any performance of it featuring a modern valve horn. 
After only a few bars of music it becomes quite apparent how well the original sound quality of the "old" instruments harmonizes with the composition -  especially the various idiosyncratic tonal nuances of the horn. 

Thanks to György Ligeti's own horn trio, composed in 1982, Brahms' composition is not the only work of this genre. Ligeti's piece was composed for the city of Hamburg's celebrations of Brahms' 150th birthday and bears the title Hommage à Brahms.

The "Quatre petites pièces pour piano, violon et cor" by Koechlin, although only short, is a nonetheless extremely delicate and in the best sense of the expression romantic-impressionistic piece of music.

What makes this recording so extraordinary is the association of the natural horn as an old instrument and the valve horn as a modern one. The mastery of both instruments by one and the same musician is a rare occurrence indeed.
 
     
 
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Review
 
Award:

Winner of the"Echo Klassik 2012", in the category "Chamber music recording of the year (19th Century)"

Echo Klassik 2012 Logo



"… This may well be the best recording ever made of the Brahms Horn Trio. Of more than a dozen that I know, it tops them all. The closest competition on natural horn is by the Englishman Roger Montgomery, who has an equally gorgeous tone and fine musicianship but not quite the elegance of Dengler; there is also some rather quirky violin playing, especially in the finale. Close competitors on modern instruments include those by Myron Bloom, Gerd Seifert and Alan Civil, but again, here and there I find things to quibble over. Not with Dengler. This is going right to the very top of my Want List this year, and unless something truly apocalyptic comes along, it’s going to stay there."
Fanfare, Robert Markow, 2012

"[…] he (Johannes Dengler) delivers a thrilling performance with an almost feral energy, which is certainly what the composer was aiming for, especially in the wildly extroverted second and fourth movements. The trio's performance of the Brahms is particularly impressive. The ensemble is beautifully balanced, with supple rhythmic flexibility and a vibrant Romantic sensibility that keeps the music soaring. Ligeti's trio is all about extremities -- of range, dynamics, and tempo -- and simply playing the notes and staying together tests the most expert players, but this group for the most part pulls it off with panache. … The album should appeal to any lovers of chambers music, but especially of the horn trio."
allmusic.com, Stephen Eddins, May 2012

"For someone brought up on the classic Busch-Serkin-Aubrey Brain Brahms Horn Trio, the prospect of a period-instrument recording could be daunting. In fact, I needn’t have worried. The main difference comes from the 1862 Bechstein piano, played by Julian Riem: a lighter, shallower sonority than a modern grand’s. The colours of Johannes Dengler’s natural, valveless horn turn out to be not so very dissimilar to those of Brain’s valve instrument, though it makes a more rustic, open-air sound in the galloping finale. In any case, the Munich Horn Trio’s splendid performance buries such considerations in the delight of the music. Ligeti’s brilliant 150th anniversary homage to Brahms enhances the disc’s attractions."
Sunday Times, DC, April 8th, 2012