Mozart K495, mvt 1 – recorded for horn and piano with original cadenza, accompanied by Jonathan Musgrave.
Jacques-Francois Gallay was one of the most important musicians of his day in France, mentioned in the same breath as Paganini and admired by composers such as Berlioz. A professor at the Paris Conservatoire, he wrote many volumes of solo pieces to encourage the good treatment of melody and line, including a set of Douze Grands Caprices. Although unaccompanied, each Caprice is harmonically suggestive enough to conjure up an accompaniment in the ears of the listener; Gallay was heavily influenced by opera, frequently writing fantasies on operatic tunes he knew from his job as principal horn at the Théâtre Italien. This is his 9th Caprice.
I am lucky to play regularly with period wind sextet, Boxwood and Brass, which performs both music written originally for sextet and arrangements for this combination. In the 18th and 19th centuries, a great deal of music was arranged into chamber versions for court performance, simply so ensembles could bring opera favourites and other ‘popular music’ of the day into circulation quickly and easily. This is Czerny’s arrangement of the Beethoven Septet – in which much of the cello and violin part ends up on the 1st horn part…
Until leaving in 2016, I performed regularly with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, holding the unusual role of horn player in a big band; this is one number we performed at the BBC Proms in 2012.
By Eleonora Haller Zwierzchowska:
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