Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Music With a New Sound

Rehearsing the Brahms Horn Trio yesterday I felt an overwhelming rush of joy. What a privilege to play repertoire that comes alive at every note.  This comes from that most foreign of instruments, the natural horn, by virtue of whose acoustics you can never predict the tone quality of the next pitch, therefore, you cannot plan in advance your own next attack.  The decisions about blend and balance all hang on the impression of the instant.

Shouldn't all music-making be like that?

Ever since my son first took up the French horn at age ten I realized that I knew nothing, absolutely nothing, about that dimension of sound.  It belongs as if to a different geometry.  Now the natural horn compounds that realization beyond what I could ever imagine.  The extent of that compounding is fully realized in this huge masterwork--huge because so demanding at every step in all three instruments.