The internet and modern technology allow the rapid and widespread dissemination of musical performances, both audio and video. YouTube is probably the readiest source of audio/videos of horn performances (of every level of sound and performance quality from wow to yikes) and the collection seems to be growing every day. Caveat audiens…
Steve Park! – do a search on YouTube for Steve Park… and you find many videos of Steve performing nearly all the core of the horn repertoire! For a list of what this tireless performer has posted (including horn ensemble works – all him!), click here.
Genghis Barbie – novel rising NYC horn quartet composed of 4 conservatory-trained young women (stage names: Freedom Barbie, Velvet Barbie, Jungle Barbie, Attila the Horn) who “play arrangements of songs by Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Queen, and other pop acts” – see article in the NY Times about them.
Salvador Brotons’ Horn Concerto, soloist: Javier Bonet. A real test of versatility! Mvt. 1 Part I below: Bonet starts with a conch shell, then to alphorn, then to natural horn, then what to appears to be a triple horn, then later back to natural horn, alphorn, and finally the conch shell again. Mvt. 1 Part 2. Movement 2 (Ciaconna/Cadenza). Cadenza (nat. horn with chords!), Mvt. 3.
The Berlin Philharmonic now offers live concerts online in its “Digital Concert Hall” at a reasonable charge – €89 for all concerts of the 2008-09 season. A digital read-out on the site tells exactly how long until the next live concert. If you can’t listen then, you have access to recordings of all concerts.
The Naxos Video Library is available for academic institutions and contains a large number of high-quality streaming video performances of orchestral repertoire, ballet, opera, concertos, documentaries, even live performances. Connect through your university’s music library web site.
Video – Lin Jiang does a supernaturally agile and impeccable run-through of Verne Reynolds Etude #3, complete with dog yipping in the background near the end (everybody’s a critic…).
Watch Austin Larson of Neenah High School (WI) perform by memory a virtuoso and extended-techniques laden “German Drinking Song,” which comes off like a kind of “Carnival of Munich” in this YouTube video.
Nury Guarnaschelli – splendid performance of the 1st movement of Mozart 4!
James Chambers plays the Herman Horn Concerto – the audio is (former NY Phil principal horn) performing an excerpt of the Herman Horn Concerto in the mid-1950s. The video is a series of snapshots of Chamber in action.
The Horns of the Berlin & Vienna Philharmonics playing an arrangement of a Haydn String Quartet
Video: John Cerminaro, A Life in Music
The Schumann Konzertstück for 4 horns (Stefan Dohr, Dale Clevenger, Ignacio Garcia, Georg Schreckenberger; Daniel Barenboim conducting)
Steve Park apparently never sleeps. He offers 42 videos of himself performing just about everything in the horn repertoire, often with some kind of orchestral backing track. Slick recording of the first movement of the Konzertstück with a Steve-Quartet where each part appears when playing and disappears when silent. More recent videos offer different backdrops: Utah landscapes, sky, outer space, sunsets, babbling brooks, etc, etc., sometimes with the “Ken Burns” effect.
The Beatles – For On One ©1966 EMI Records Ltd.
“I spoke with Alan Civil about this recording many years ago when he gave a concert in my hometown of the Brahms Trio. He told me the solo went up to a “D” above high C, and he played it on an Alex descant horn (Bb/high F) in one take. Civil, who was principal horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the time had been hired by George Martin, and it was Martin himself who wrote out the part as Paul could neither write nor read music.
Incidentally, John and George did not participate when the Paul recorded this tune on 09 May, 1966; the horn part was added later (on the 19 May that same year) using an overdub with George Martin at the console.
You can see a studio take of a more recent version of this tune in the film “Give my regards to Broadstreet” — I believe it’s Jeff Bryant playing the obligato horn part, and he clearly goes up to a high “D” (watch his fingering using his Paxman descant Bb/high F) and does a great job of it.”
– Martin Bender
“In any case, the various Beatle recording diaries document the original recording and speeding up on play back process. And I believe Jeff Bryant played this lick on his descant in the For No One sequence in “Give My Regards to the Broadstreet”.” – Lou Denaro
Star Trek (2009 movie) Sound Track horn section
The solo at the beginning of the movie is by Rick Todd.
Bohemian Rhapsody with Mnozil Brass [!] Just when you thought you’ve seen everything…
The Peiffer Ensemble at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage – streaming video of entire performance
John Peiffer is not only Assistant Principal Horn with the Washington National Opera Orchestra, he is a versatile multi-talented musician who is also an improviser, director, arranger, and singer, at home not only in classical but also in jazz, western swing, and other popular styles. This performance by his group, The Peiffer Ensemble, of pieces by Peiffer, Paul Seitz, John McGinn, and Duke Ellington is surprising, astonishing, and thoroughly delightful, a marvelous mix of “an eclectic mixture of traditional classical music, contemporary music, popular song, and jazz.”
From the Top is a radio show (distributed by NPR) that offers, among other things, audio clips of outstanding young players. Following are links to some of the performances.
Tuzforro Horn Trio (Brahms Trio – Scherzo, Ligeti Trio)
Catherine Turner (Strauss No. 1, P. Schickele’s ‘What Did You Do At Jeffey’s House Today?)
Brian Bush (Gliere Concerto – Mvt. 3)
Nathan Neely (Saint-Saens – Morceau de Concert)
Steven Ledford (Mozart- Horn Concerto No. 2)
Kolio Plachkov (Monti – Czardas)
Ok, so this isn’t horns. But it’s fun anyway: Stringfever History of Music in Five Minutes and other videos by the “world’s first genetically modified string quartet.”
This isn’t horn either, but James Morrison is off the charts as he trades fours with himself on jazz trumpet and trombone.