Horn Repertoire Week 9: The Natural Horn in the Romantic Period


This week our discussion will focus on topics discussed in and articles linked from the following article:

Highlights of our listening and discussion this week will include these two masterworks:

  • Schubert: Auf dem Strom (horn, soprano or tenor, piano)
  • Brahms: Trio, Op. 40 for Horn, Violin, and Piano

There is an additional topic I would like to expand upon, from an article not linked from the longer article (above) on the romantic natural horn, the topic of why Brahms wrote for horns in different keys.

From that article for a little flavor,

I have looked at this topic quite a bit and it boils down pretty quickly in my mind to two points.

1. Brahms clearly did write all of his horn parts for natural horn,

2. But did the players of the time actually perform them on natural horns?

As to why he wrote them for natural horn, part of it certainly is tradition, and that tradition also mixes in with other things including an anti-Wagner stance on the part of Brahms. The style of natural horn writing does mark his music with a type of sound that is unmistakable.

AND: For those interested in more (all of you!) I have a longer article in Horn Articles Online, posted in 2012, very worth at least skimming over:

Next time we turn fully to a topic that is also addressed somewhat this week, the early valved horn.

Continue to Week 10

This is week 9 of a fourteen week course in horn repertoire, the second semester of a broad overview of horn repertoire, performance, and pedagogy. The introductory article is here, and the series is presented for the educational purposes of our readers.

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