On Choices of Horns

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This past few months has been productive and interesting in terms of practice and equipment. Two things drove this. One was being forced to change mouthpieces due to allergic sensitivity (more here). The other is an upcoming recording project.

French-horn-choicesI had settled in and was playing for a couple years a horn that is comparable to a custom Geyer horn, a Willson, seen on the chair in the photo. What I found in rehearsals with the trio was that it felt a bit too bright for the context, the trio being with tuba and bass trombone. And part of the project I was thinking I would need to play on the triple but I could not find a mouthpiece I liked for it.

Without going blow by blow on the whole thing, I ended up also getting out and seriously trying two other horns that were available to me seen in the photo, an ASU owned vintage Hoyer (East German era) double and also my big double, a Paxman 25AND. I also had to really work around the mouthpiece issue as each horn seems to focus in best on different mouthpieces.

The conclusion is that I am playing the recording later this month and in May on my triple, a Paxman model 83, with a Moosewood BA mouthpiece, but also using the big Paxman double this week to play extra horn with the Phoenix Symphony with a Moosewood B-14 mouthpiece, both with the same Moosewood Delrin (plastic) rim. Both horns are feeling great and I look forward to 6th horn on Mahler 5!

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And I will have more notes and tips related to the recording coming soon, but for a flavor of what we are working on check this article for more.

University of Horn Matters