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OC 0582
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OC 0582
Horn Recital: Marsolais, Louis-Philippe - STRAUSS, R. / STRAUSS, F.J. / LACHNER, F.P. / SCHUMANN, R. / PILSS, K. (The German Romantic Horn)

Horn Recital: Marsolais, Louis-Philippe - STRAUSS, R. / STRAUSS, F.J. / LACHNER, F.P. / SCHUMANN, R. / PILSS, K. (The German Romantic Horn)

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2011


Louis-Philippe Marsolais


Record Label
Oehms Classics




Total Time - 67:28
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Horn Recital: Marsolais, Louis-Philippe - STRAUSS, R. / STRAUSS, F.J. / LACHNER, F.P. / SCHUMANN, R. / PILSS, K. (The German Romantic Horn)

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Andante in C major, TrV 155




Thema und Variationen, Op. 13


Nocturne, Op. 7




Variations on a Swiss Folksong




Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70




3 Pezzi in forma di Sonata

6 I. Sinfonia 9:14
7 II. Intermezzo 8:54
8 III. Rondo alla acaccia 8:55
 Louis-Philippe Marsolais Soloist

Immerse yourself in a world of romantic sound
It sounds like a tall story, but it’s true: during a rehearsal in February 1883, when Hermann Levi informed the Munich Court Orchestra of Richard Wagner’s sudden death from heart failure, all of the musicians stood up in his honour – only Franz Strauss (1822–1905), the first horn, demonstratively remained seated. The father of a professed Wagnerian and composer who was to become world-famous viewed the musical world of the maestro from Bayreuth with incomprehension throughout his life. Nevertheless, it was a matter of honour for him always to play his horn part as perfectly as possible – although with inner reluctance – which gave rise to Wagner’s legendary remark: “This Strauss is an obnoxious chap, but when he plays, it’s impossible to be angry with him.” The young Richard Strauss (1864–1949) must have grown up immersed in the sound of the horn, which his father practised industriously at home; this was later borne out by passages of exquisite beauty in his tone poems and operas as well as by individual chamber works such as the Andante for Horn and Piano recorded here.  
However, it is unfortunately far too little known that Franz Strauss, as musical director of the amateur orchestra “Die wilde Gung’l” (with whom his son Richard made his first steps as a composer and conductor and which is incidentally still in existence today!), was himself also a composer. His concert pieces for horn and piano accompaniment are still of interest to today’s virtuosi. The sound of this instrument is heard in all its beauty – for example in the Notturno op. 7 in D flat major. In general, Franz Strauss preferred “deep” keys, i.e. keys which came closest to realizing his idea of sonorous sound. Moreover, he seems to have liked sets of variations, as in op. 13, another genre which depends on the player’s instrumental capabilities. Louis-Philippe Marsolais’ recording of the two horn pieces from Franz Strauss’ pen is therefore not least a tribute to a “father” who, as a well-established professor at the Royal Music School in Munich, became the teacher of a considerable number of well-known horn players. 
Franz Lachner (1803–1890) was another one of the circle of determined Wagner opponents. Until the poet and composer’s arrival in the Bavarian royal seat, Lachner had a fixed place in its musical life; he was conductor of the court opera, directed the Königliche Vokalkapelle (Royal Voice Choir), and in 1852 was decorated with the title of General Music Director, at that time “an honorary title which was previously not customary in Bavaria”. After Ludwig II summoned Wagner to Munich, irreconcilable artistic differences between the two composers caused Lachner’s gradual retirement from 1865. As a composer, Lachner drew on Beethoven and Schubert as models (he was a close friend of Schubert’s until the latter’s death). Approximately 190 of his works were published. The Variations on a Swiss Folksong can be seen as the epitome of the romantic thought and feeling of a musician who has today been – unjustly – largely forgotten. 
Pure romanticism also from Robert Schumann (1810–1856): the composer always rejected mere description and illustration, his works are allegories of the poetic ideas on which they are based. Op. 70 opens with an expressive song. Horn and piano enter into an intimate dialogue in which both instruments are placed on an absolutely equal footing. The same applies to the swift, fiery Allegro in free rondo form, whose theme with its tremolo seems to have been specifically created for the horn. 
Finally, ARD prize winner Louis-Philippe Marsolais grants a rare insight into the compositional oeuvre of Karl Pilss (1902–1979). As well as spending decades as the principal rehearsal pianist of the Viennese State Opera, he was much in demand as a song accompanist, harpsichordist, choir director and repetitor of various renowned choral societies. As the director of studies at the Salzburg Festival, he was responsible for memorable productions with great conductors such as Toscanini, Walter, Knappertsbusch, Furtwängler, Böhm and Karajan. Influenced by the predominantly classical and romantic musical tradition of his native city Vienna, Pilss composed numerous works – particularly for brass – oriented on the style of the 19th century. A late heir to romanticism, as it were. 
Richard Eckstein
Translation: ar-pege translations
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