Released c. 2006
Burdick, natural horn
Performs Digital Recording
Louis-François Dauprat’s (1781-1868)
Six Quartets & Six Trios for Natural Horns
in Different keys, Opus 8
Richard Burdick, cor alto, cor basse, cor alto, and cor basse
1 Allegro poco agitato Keys: G, Eb, F, C 4:18 2 Minuetto: Allegro vivace Keys: G, D, E, C 3:15 3 Introduzione con Variazione Keys: G, D, E, D 4:06 4 Marica Keys: G, D, E, C 4:22 5 Marcia funebre: Adagio Keys: G, F, F, D 3:12 6 Allegro scherzando Keys: G, C, F, C 3:02Six trios
Total Time 43:23
7 Andantino Keys: G, E, C 3:02 8 Minuetto: Grazioso Keys: G, F, C 3:59 9 Allegretto Keys: G, F, C 2:07 10 Marica Religiosa Keys: G, E, D 1:16 11 Minuetto: Grazioso Keys: G, E, D 4:02 12 Finale: Allegro poco agitato Keys: G, E, D 6:03
About the horn:
The horn used is an Austro-bohemian horn with terminal crooks made around 1840. Tuned at A: 430 Hertz.
About the music:
The description of the horn from Albrechtsberger’s (1736-1809) Harmony books gives us a chart of the major triad in C and even avoids the common 9th overtone a normal open tone (D). And he goes on to say:
” Semitones are made by the hand, in the bell of the horn and should therefore be introduced with discretion . . . Rapid chromatic passages display a great degree of technical ability, and may excite wonder but little else. A horn should sing, its most beautiful and magical power is thus perceived. Its notes should develop themselves gradually like those of a human voice in a real portamento di voce of delicate shades; these tones will appear the interpretation of an overflowing spirit – the articulated throbs of a sensitive heart, and will conjure up unbidden tears”
Albrechtsberger (Beethoven’s teacher) recommended melodies of a simple nature and to avoid chromatics. In contrast and not too many years later Dauprat, under the master tutelage of Reicha, wrote music of incredibly complex nature for instruments in different keys, as presented here.
Horn always reads in the key of C, but the length of the instrument varied from Bb basso to C alto. C alto parts sounded as written, all other keys were written higher than sounding, with the extreme low Bb horn sounding down a Major ninth. In these works contrasting and conflicting keys were used and in a masterful way. For Example; the last chord of the first trio is a concert A minor triad. The Low C horn plays a written E sounding concert E. The E horn plays a written Eb sounding concert G. And the G horn plays a written E sounding concert B.The amount of transposing and then relating the music to what is possible on the valveless horn, is outstandingly difficult.
-- These works are technical and music masterpieces. --
One of Richard’s favorite moments is when two horns pitched a minor third apart both play repeated eighth notes on a written Bb’s: a uniformity of timber resulting from the use of the 7th overtone, in two different keys.
Among the difficulties presented to the horn player are incredibly fast passages, low Ab’s, high A’s and lots of chromatics. The chromatics written for a low pitched (like C or D) instrument are especially hard and often go unnoticed below Dauprat’s beautiful melodies.
About the recording and set up:
These are multi track recordings. Mr. Burdick is performing all the parts. The recording is done on an iMac G5 with the program Digital Performer 4.5 and a Presonus Firestation USB preamp and USB interface with two Mogami MXV V69 tube microphones.
Reverb was added to emulate a large concert hall and a limiter was used to eliminate most of the background hiss. No other sound alterations were made.
The project was begun in Richard’s studio at the Music conservatory, a part of the University of Regina, Saskatchewan in February 2005. After recording all the trios it was determined this studio had too much background noise. The recording was redone entirely in a “sound proof” room in the basement of Mr. Burdick’s apartment. The last day of recording was November 10th 2005 with the complete performance of trio number one done in about an hour and a half.
1) Hello Richard WOW! What a surprise! I spent all day listening to it. You make the Bohemian horn sound effortless to stop. The creaminess of the horn's tone came through really well, and the complex overtone structure of your sound is perfect on the Bohemian horn. This is without question the finest overdub recording ever made, especially with regard to the intonation (Those other guys just won't tune it!). The complexity of the project will be missed by most people, considering how effortless it sounds, but I really understand and appreciate what you've accomplished, and I admire this CD greatly. Will you be doing the Dauprat Sextets, as well? Thank you a thousand times for sending me the CD to hear. Will these be on eBay to buy for Christmas gifts? Congratulations. Lowell 2) Richard - I listened to your new CD over the weekend, it's really wonderful.
If I didn't know how you did it, I would have heard some of the voices as
having different personalities - there's one of the inner parts that chimes
in with its little solos with great glee, and the 6th hornist is a jolly
fellow who enjoys booming out those final notes!
I loved the CD label, it's your best yet.
Congrats on making another hit with Lowell!
Dr. Tom from Amazon
Among the handful of late 18th/early 19th century composers who wrote for horn ensemble, Louis-Francois Dauprat certainly stands out as the most inventive and adventurous (even more than his teacher, Anton Reicha, I'd say). Not only are his compositions clever and chromatically rich, they are audaciously demanding given the limits of the natural horn (without valves) for which they were written. This recording demonstrates just how difficult this music is for its intended instrument. Despite the resounding endorsement from Lowell Greer displayed on the back of the CD, Burdick is not quite up to the level of modern master natural-hornists such as Greer (or Baumann, or Halstead), a fact which reveals itself most prominently in the somewhat sour sounding faster passages. On the other hand, it's amazing that anyone can pull these pieces off at all, and Burdick certainly plays with enthusiasm and musicality. The CD is self-produced and has that homemade look to it, complete with blurry photographs and oddly written program notes that would have benefited from a proof-reader. Nonetheless, it is a fascinating addition to the collection of any horn player or aficionado of the instrument.
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