Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Kerry Turner, Walter Perkins, Paul Hindemith|
4 x 4
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
Listen to Samples
Best Hindemith to date
A.Atherton | Missoula, MT | 03/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The American Horn Quartet, a group of four Americans playing in European orchestras, is a premier group that plays at the highest level of professional excellence. Kerry Turner, one of the performers, has penned a romping, boisterous piece that launches this album with wonderful audacity, and the Perkins Quartet keeps it going. The Hindemith is the pinnacle of the CD, played with an intensity and warmth that I have heard in no other recording of this piece. Bernstein, always a favorite of mine when arranged for brass, is beautifully realized and played.This album has virtuoso playing of the highest level; a tribute to the quality of American hornists. The low horn playing in these quartets is phenomenal, bringing a fullness and warmth to the performances that is seldom heard. If you liked the London Horn Sound, you would do well to give this CD a listen and hear what the best American players can do."
American Horn Quartet sets the standard
Marc S. Williams | Salt Lake City, Utah | 12/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The American Horn Quartet sets a performance standard with this recording. The chosen works are outstanding examples of the literature. They require the utmost musicianship and technical ability. The AHQ is up to the challenge. After listening one feels the need to ask how did they do that? The performances are fiery and blemish-free--a rare combination of precision and emotion. This disc would be appreciated by any music lover and is a must for a french hornist. I look forward to hearing other recordings by this ensemble."
Virtuoso performers who make the impossible seem effortless
Martin Selbrede | The Woodlands, Texas | 01/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Speaking of the horn trio Beethoven wrote in the 3rd movement of the Eroica, Bernstein noted the demands the passage placed on performers: a phrase ending above the staff for one horn, and another horn being asked to scamper where horns are least able to scamper: the lowest register of the instrument.
In this recording, far more severe obstacles are put in the path of this foursome, which they not only navigate, but nail. A previous reviewer noted the remarkable low-register work being done. It's one thing to read about it -- it's another thing to experience it with your own ears. It is astonishing. Tones so clean, deep, and (where required) vested with crystal clear rapidity where they had no right to be -- awesome. The high-end work is equally precise and impassioned. You're not likely to hear more confident readings of these works.
One would expect Kevin Turner's composition to be idiomatic for the quartet (since he's a member of it, and knows its strengths from the inside) -- and so it is. The first movement of his 3rd Quartet (labeled "Sooners") is a dazzling curtain-raiser on this album. In fact, it upstages, at least partially, the Hindemith (where the writing, vis-a-vis technical virtuosity, doesn't hit high gear until the final variation movement). Don't get me wrong: I'm an absolute Hindemith fan, and this is the best recording of the horn quartet. It's simply that Turner's first movement is more exciting (if not nearly as compositionally deep as Hindemith's).
One comes to appreciate Hindemith's horn writing, since this album shows that not a lot of advances have occurred since Hindemith wrote for this kind of ensemble. I'd suppose the most advanced work for multiple horns would be Ligeti's Hamburg Concerto for Solo Horn and four Natural Horns plus Orchestra -- but apart from the usual panoply of intriguingly juxtaposed Ligeti tone clusters, Hindemith otherwise covers the bulk of modern praxis quite nicely, thank you.
The Bernstein transcription was excellent, but be prepared to smirk at the finger snapping (uncredited) and jump at the ultra-loud police whistle (also uncredited). The work of Perkins (as transcriber for Bernstein, and composer of the second work on the CD) is also excellent, but I still came back to the opening track of Turner's. Maybe I'm a fool for pyrotechnics, but that piece simply works beautifully.
If you compare the program notes between English, French, and German, you'll notice a sentence in the German and French that is never translated into English. I don't know if this was an oversight or by design -- the sentence appeared to reference other major composers who wrote for horn quartet (e.g., Michael Tippett), but you'd never have known about them from the English text of the CD booklet.
Highly recommended, whether or not you're a horn player. For horn players, it's a mandatory acquisition."