Grand Duets for natural horns
in Eb, opus 13
at A= 432
Released August 25th 2007
This release date marks the completion of the recording of all
of Dauprat's horn ensemble music by Richard Burdick. With the 2nd
volume of horn duets opus 13 on CD 18, the grand sextets, opus
10 and the grand trios opus 4 on CD19 and a special release of
the Grand trio opus 26 on a disk for those who buy both CD18 & 19!
Buy just this CD:
Buy All Three CD's
Already released are CD16; the duets opus 14, and CD14; Quartets,
opus 8; which is all of the published music for horn ensemble of
Why is this important? Louis-François Dauprat was the horn
professor at the Paris conservatory in Beethoven’s time.
He was singly responsible for stalling the development of the Valve
horn in France, by as much as 40 years! His compositions are fine
early romantic works highly influence by his teach Anton Reicha.
His writing for natural horn is unbelievably chromatic with keys
remote from what would be expected in what normally would be a
very limited instrument.
His works are outstanding!
Performance of his works could only be
done by a virtuoso!
Dauprat’s intimate knowledge
of hand horn techniques makes this opus a compositional tour de force.
Not only does he use all twelve notes of the chromatic scale in nearly
every piece, he also pioneers the use of key signatures of up to four sharps
and four flats for an instrument which was generally restricted C major.
His stated purpose in writing these duos was to write in all
the major and minor scales practicable on a single crook. His ideas of
what was practicable went far beyond the usual practice of his time, and
his goal was at least as much aesthetic as technical. He exploited the
positioning of stopped notes to produce distinct moods and tone qualities
for each key, much as J. S. Bach did in the Well-Tempered Clavier. For the
natural horn, C major and the sharp keys are cheerful and brilliant because
they contain many open notes.† The sharped notes are often leading
tones, so the hand position is more open than would otherwise be the case.
Dauprat pushes the natural horn to its limits in remote keys. Volume 2
of these opus 13 duets written for Eb horns are in three primary keys:
3 is in Bb Major, 5 in Ab Major and 6 in G Major. Bb major puts the fundamental
on the 3, 6th or 12th harmonic of the horn, which is not too unusual, but
Ab Major put the fundamental either on a 3rd or 6th harmonic lowered a
whole step by the hand and mouth use, or the 11th harmonic dropped down
3/4's of a step - difficult tone control is need for this key. And the
6th duet is in G Major with departures to C minor, B Major, Ab Major, and
more. Fundamentals on the 5th or 10th harmonic are not too bad, but
Ab Major is done almost entirely with the bell covered! Unheard of by any
other composer! The stopped notes sound veiled and mysterious, rather than
deficient. This sound was so highly regarded that the Conservatoire National
did not abolish its natural horn curriculum until 1903!
Richard plays a horn made by Marcel-Auguste Raoux in the 1840s,
modified by Lowell Greer.