Siegfried Horn Call – The Back Story to a Famous Horn Solo

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UPDATE: May 5, 2010. YouTube has removed the Bugs Bunny cartoon that features the horn call in F# major.

A while ago, I had the pleasure to perform the complete Ring cycle several times with Arizona Opera, with Joe Berger as principal horn. I cannot say enough great things on how amazingly solid Joe is as a musician.

In performing the Siegfried Horn Call, it is good to understand the back story. The horn call signifies a youthful Siegfried trying to communicate with a bird by using his horn (!?).

He manages to wake up something much larger and more dangerous.

This video provides an excellent synopsis of this scenario in 6 minutes – check it out. (Ignore the advert at the end.)

Horn players often stumble on this blog looking for the sheet music to the Siegfried Horn Call. At hornexcerpts.org, the music for the horn call is available along with three different audio renditions performed by famous players.

As a side note, if you have never seen the Bugs Bunny take on Wagner opera, “What’s Opera Doc?,” this must be seen. It includes a bit with the Siegfried Horn Call at the 1:45 mark. The horn player playing this Bugs Bunny version had to play part of the call one half-step higher.

It starts in F# major instead of F major… yikes!

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