Composer(s): Othmar SCHOECK, Charles KOECHLIN, Ethel SMYTH
Performers / Conductor: Marie-Luise NEUNECKER (Horn), Saschko GAWRILOFF, Uri MAYER
Orchestra/Ensemble: Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR
Label: Koch Schwann
Catalog #: 3-6412-2 H1
Time: 57:49 min
SPARS Code: DDD
A horn player's delight by Larry VanDeSande (Amazon.com)
Why a recording as wonderful as this one goes out of print is a mystery to me. Marie Luise Neunecker is among the handful of the world's greatest horn players, which she amply demonstrates on three nonvirtuosic vehicles in this recording -- the concertos by Charles Koechlin, Othmar Schoeck and Ethel Smyth's very Brahmsian concerto.
It is the latter work that establishes this recording as one to cherish, for Neunecker and conductor Uri Mayer understand Smyth was a Brahms acolyte and, together, commit themselves to a very Brahmsian -- nee autmnal resignation -- interpretation of the Englishwoman's music. If you can imagine the famous bearded Brahms writing a horn concerto late in life, this is probably what it would sound like.
The Koechlin and Schoeck concertos don't quite measure up to this standard but Neucecker's performances outlast any other recorded versions. Together, the trio of horn concertos will delight fans of the instrument now and for many years to come. Hopefully, one of these years, someone will buy the rights to this recording so people don't have to pay $50-$65 for a collector's copy, like you may have to do here.