Oscar Franz (1843-1886) was one of the most prominent teachers and performers of the horn in the late nineteenth century. Franz spent most of his career in Dresden, where he taught at the Dresden Conservatory and performed Principal Horn in the court orchestra. Franz was well respected in his time, and it is to him that Richard Strauss (1864-1949) dedicated the orchestral score of his Horn Concerto No. 1, Op. 11 (1883).
Oscar Franz wrote a number of teaching materials for the horn. His Grosse theoretisch-practische Waldhorn-Schule [Complete Theoretical and Practical Horn Method] was first published around 1880. In this method Franz put forth many of his ideas for performing on the horn, which I cover in more depth in an article in Horn Articles Online:
I have created PDF versions of both of these sections to make them more of use to the horn community today. They are all pretty usable in lesson situations and for personal practice, and I believe teachers will find them especially handy “filler teaching materials” to have around in situations where students are new or between books. The PDFs may be accessed from our PDF download library or from the links directly below:
- Oscar Franz – 29 Etudes (easy to difficult) from the Complete Method
- Oscar Franz – 10 Grand Concert Studies from the Complete Method
To close, the difficult horn part that may have cost him his life (!) was the topic of a prior article in Horn Matters, well worth a quick read as you start into the more difficult etudes of the above: