Composer(s): Johann Gottlieb Graun, Johann Joachim Quantz, Johann Georg Röllig, Knechtl, Karl Mathias Reinhardt
Artist(s): Barry Tuckwell (French Horn)
Conductor: Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Label: Decca 417406
Format: CD (1 Disc)
Time: 1 Hour 1 Minute
SPARS Code: DDD
Reviewer: Ivan March (Gramophone [7/1987])
Seven baroque concertos in a row, played with exuberant virtuosity by a master hornist brings over an hour of music, none of it great music, but pleasingly inventive and creating electricity from the bravura demanded of the soloist—met here with confident aplomb by Barry Tuckwell. The high tessitura of the bouncing first movement of the Knechtl has a counterpart in the opening movements of the two concertos Rollig concertos, their basic atmosphere more relaxed and galant but still demanding the most nimble articulation and controlled trills. Reinhardt's decorative writing is so florid that one feels at times there are almost too many notes, and the soloist is also tested by wide leaps in the melodic line, even in the siciliano slow movement. The siciliano format is also favoured by Quantz and Rollig (in both his concertos). I thought Quantz's No. 9 all-in-all the most engaging work here, featuring as it does a concertante oboe soloist, whose melodic line often graciously echoes that of the horn. But the Graun is a good piece also, quite short (the Adagio only lasts 1'53'' but is still memorable) and the outer movements are strong in character, particularly the finale with its snapping grace notes.
Reviewer: "i like hermann baumann but..." (Amazon Customers' Review)
Throughout Iona Brown provides polished, stylish accompaniments: the sound made by the ASMF strings is clean and bright in allegros, seemingly reflecting the influence of the 'authentic' movement, although modern instruments are used by everyone (including the soloist) to excellent musical effect. The sound is fresh and transparent, the harpsichord continuo coming through realistically without a false balance.
Simply the best recording by Tuckwell. Unbelievable playing of some of the most remarkabilly difficult horn peices ever written. A must buy for any horn player. listen to the extraordinarily fast and clear tongueing, and the most extraordinary showcasing of horn virtuosity ever heard by any horn player on any horn recording. look out for the high Es and the ridiculous ease of the execution of lip trills, stupendiously jumpy passages, and the speed of the tongueing of semiquaver "broken triads".