Before Mozart: Early Horn Concertos Alec Frank-Gemmill, Svenska Kammarorkestern & Nicholas McGegan
- Christoph Förster (1693-1745): Horn Concerto in E-Flat Major:
- 1Horn Concerto in E-Flat Major: I. Con discretione05:00
- 2Horn Concerto in E-Flat Major: II. Adagio02:33
- 3Horn Concerto in E-Flat Major: III. Allegro04:05
- Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767): Horn Concerto in D Major, TWV 51:D8:
- 4Horn Concerto in D Major, TWV 51:D8: I. Vivace02:02
- 5Horn Concerto in D Major, TWV 51:D8: II. Largo02:43
- 6Horn Concerto in D Major, TWV 51:D8: III. Allegro03:09
- Johann Baptist Georg Neruda (ca.1708-1780): Horn Concerto in E-Flat Major:
- 7Horn Concerto in E-Flat Major: I. Allegro05:28
- 8Horn Concerto in E-Flat Major: II. Largo04:23
- 9Horn Concerto in E-Flat Major: III. Vivace04:22
- Leopold Mozart (1719-1787): Sinfonia da camera in D Major, LMW VII:D5:
- 10Sinfonia da camera in D Major, LMW VII:D5: I. Allegro moderato05:52
- 11Sinfonia da camera in D Major, LMW VII:D5: II. Menuet - Trio03:02
- 12Sinfonia da camera in D Major, LMW VII:D5: III. Andante03:17
- 13Sinfonia da camera in D Major, LMW VII:D5: IV. Allegro02:14
- Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): Horn Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Hob. VIId:3:
- 14Horn Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Hob. VIId:3: I. Allegro06:15
- 15Horn Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Hob. VIId:3: II. Adagio06:16
- 16Horn Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Hob. VIId:3: III. Allegro03:41
Info for Before Mozart: Early Horn Concertos
Mozart’s horn concertos are so well-known that for many listeners the sound of the horn and Mozart are virtually synonymous. Mozart was not the first composer to write solo concertos for the horn, however, and works from earlier on in the eighteenth century give a quite different perspective on the instrument. With this release soloist Alec Frank-Gemmill provides insights into some of these early horn concertos, by composers ranging from Telemann to Haydn, by way of Mozart’s own father, Leopold. In the seventeenth century, when the horn first appeared in classical music, it was in the context of hunting scenes in operas by Lully, Cavalli and others. But the instrument’s true adoption into art music really began the following century in the German-speaking world, where Dresden for a while became the most important centre for performing on, and composing for, the horn. Around 1750, both Christoph Förster and Johann Baptist Georg Neruda wrote extremely demanding and virtuosic concertos – Neruda’s Concerto in E flat major is in such a high register that it has sometimes been assumed to be composed for the trumpet. Through modern innovations in horn design it is once more possible to perform all of these early horn concertos, including parts previously considered ‘impossibly high’. Alec Frank-Gemmill is recognised internationally for the exceptional breadth and depth of his music-making. His interest in historical performance informed his previous, highly acclaimed release for BIS – a traversal of the horn repertoire throughout some 140 years, performed on four different 19th-century instruments. On the present album he plays on modern horns, but draws heavily on his familiarity with 18th-century horn technique and style, with the support of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra under period performance expert Nicholas McGegan.
Alec Frank-Gemmill, horn
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Principal Horn of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Alec Frank-Gemmill divides his time between concertos, recitals, chamber music and orchestral playing. He was Artist in Residence at the 2013 Lammermuir Festival and made his Wigmore Hall debut the same year. He has since gone on to perform as a soloist at numerous festivals including Spitalfields, Ryedale, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and St. Magnus.
Alec was a member of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme 2014-16, appearing as soloist with the BBC orchestras on numerous occasions, including performances of rarely-heard repertoire by Ethel Smyth, Malcolm Arnold and Charles Koechlin. With his own orchestra, the SCO, he has performed concertos by Mozart (on the natural horn) with Richard Egarr, Ligeti and Strauss with Robin Ticciati, Schumann with John Eliot Gardiner and Macmillan with Andrew Manze.
Often invited as a guest principal horn, Alec has frequently appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. As a soloist, he has long been keen to explore the solo repertoire of the baroque era and to champion the use of instruments from the 19th century. A grant from Creative Scotland has also enabled Alec to develop his interest in historical performance. He appears regularly as part of period-instrument ensembles, most notably with Ensemble Marsyas. He is also the recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Fellowship and in early 2017 released a recording of 19th Century works for horn and piano with Alasdair Beatson on the BIS label.
Alec was recently appointed Professor of Horn at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having himself studied in Cambridge, London and Berlin with teachers including Hugh Seenan, Radovan Vlatković and Marie-Luise Neunecker.