Wednesday, November 25, 2009 (The Mysterious Nameless Hornist)

ADDENDUM: Thanks to my many friends who have pointed out that the “Mysterious Nameless Hornist” is the very famous horn virtuoso Frank Lloyd; not a surprise considering the level of virtuosity displayed on this web page.

Over the last years, since I started writing articles for TubaNews, Pipers Magazine and my own blogs, I’ve talked many times about the amazing growth of the tuba both in virtuosity and repertoire. A similar growth has taken place, with the leadership of Christen Limburg, with the trombone. However, the trumpet and horn community quite simply have not evolved in that same way. Why? Both trumpet and horn are blessed with abundant repertoire and a long tradition of style. This is especially true of horn; every tuba player has encountered a little jealousy over the extraordinary repertoire of the horn, which they frequently borrow and perform as their own solo repertoire. Tubists and trombonists in the mean time have spent the passed several decades expanding their technique to accommodate the challenges of the new repertoire.

On April 29, 2007 I wrote an Article titled “Exquisite” about a CD of the same name made by Hollywood studio trumpet player Malcolm McNab, which featured Mr. McNab in a stunning performance of the Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35 by Tchaikovsky. Above and beyond the fact that this performance both technically and musically lives up to the name of the album, it raised the bar to a higher level, it presents a new level of playing that future generations will accept as normal.

Because of the extraordinary horn repertoire of truly great music, horn players, in their quests to master and preserve the tradition of this abundant repertoire, have not been motivated to move very far beyond their enviable comfort zone.

Perhaps this example of virtuoso horn playing that I encountered on U Tube yesterday is a significant step in rising that proverbial bar a few notches for the horn. It’s sensational, enjoy.

November 26, 2009, Tokyo