Brief Review: Bowermaster, The Horn in Song

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I have several items stacked up to review, and to get the ball rolling again I would first like to briefly review a CD that was released this year, The Horn in Song featuring Tod Bowermaster, horn, and James Howsmon, piano.

This is one of several CDs that were in my listening rotation this summer, and one thing that really appeals to me as a listener is that this really is a recording that you can put in and let run. The theme of the album is “lyrical favorites” with a focus on song transcriptions and song-like works. From the description at CD Baby,

This recording was conceived many years ago as a collection of songs and lullabies to play for our children when they were little ones. By now the children have grown quite a bit, as has the scope of the project, but the theme remains the same – a compilation of some of my favorite lyrical music for horn and piano. The music is of varied origins, mostly vocal, some instrumental, but all written in a singing style. The pieces fall into three categories: first, music originally composed for horn and piano; second, transcriptions already in existence; and third, new transcriptions I made specifically for this recording. With lyricism as the common thread, I selected repertoire that I felt was as varied as possible, representing different nationalities, musical eras and styles. I think each piece has its own story to tell. I hope you enjoy it!

I have enjoyed listening to this recording. Saint Louis Symphony Third Hornist Bowermaster has a great sound and natural phrasing that are featured well, and Howsmon is an excellent collaborator.

While some of the transcriptions are by Bowermaster, as a horn teacher I would also highlight that this recording includes original works and published horn transcriptions that are excellent teaching materials. So for example the recording includes the Saint-Saëns Romance in E, the Wekre version of Davidov Romance Without Words, the Yancich arrangement of the Schubert Serenade, and other easily available transcriptions by Wekre and Jones, among others. Bowermaster provides an excellent model for our students.

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The Horn in Song may be purchased as a CD or as downloads at CD Baby.

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