Most every semester people working on research projects contact me about various topics related to the horn in the 19th century. This spring in particular I was contacted by someone researching the odd notations in the horn parts of Wagner. They had found a reference to this article
“The Valve Horn and Its Performing Techniques in the Nineteenth Century: An Overview.” The Horn Call Annual 4 (1992), 2-32.
and had some questions after locating a copy of it. Honestly, I look at that article now and think it is very preliminary, being written as a project as a Doctoral student. It was my very first published article. My first question for them was had they read this article
“Joseph Rudolphe Lewy and Valved Horn Technique in Germany, 1837-1851.” The Horn Call Annual 9 (1997), 23-35.
Looking back I feel that this is the best article of all the articles I have published. This is the cover of the issue in which it appeared.
Most Horn Matters readers probably have never heard of The Horn Call Annual. It was an annual, refereed journal put out by the International Horn Society but not for years now, the 1997 issue was the last.
I still look back and marvel a bit at it. I wrote this? Yes I did! I really got into the topic as I wrote it while playing Third Horn full time in Nashville. The more I looked at it the more I realized that existing sources on the topic were inadequate and I could see a bigger picture than they presented.
If you are curious to read it this particular article is not at present online [see UPDATE!] except for a very small excerpt already posted in Horn Matters, on the crazy notations in Lohengrin. The full version is 13 pages long and has 74 footnotes, many pretty substantial, which is a big part of why it never was posted in Horn Articles Online. In the full article I really do sort out most of the information that is out there on the topic of horn notations in Wagner in much more depth than any other source.
From time to time I think I need to go back to this and other historical articles and republish them in some form. They are of course not entirely lost to the modern world as you can find with effort the print version, but certainly there is a need for some new historical resources on the horn in a format that researchers can easily access today.
UPDATE: The full Wagner/Lewy article is now online as of 2016! Content is divided as follows: