Digital Concert Stream

A completely new way to experience the music. We are incredibly excited to launch our Digital Concert Stream.

What does this mean? It means your orchestra wherever you are. 

Starting September 26th there are going to be two ways to watch your orchestra in action:

Live Stream Digital Ticket

Each concert will be live streamed from St John’s Cathedral in downtown Saskatoon. For a $15 Digital Ticket you and your household can watch the concert as it happens from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you have internet access.

This could be you, enjoying the SSO from home!
You can watch all SSO concerts from home

When you purchase your Digital Ticket from the SSO you will receive an email with a direct link that gives you access to the streamed concert. Not able to make it for the start of the concert? The live stream video will convert to a recorded file and it will be available for 24 hours.

A Digital Ticket is $15 and gives you access to one concert for 24 hours.

Click Here to Buy Digital Tickets

Plan on watching 6 or more concerts? Wish you could watch them whenever you want and as many times as you want? A Digital Concert Stream Subscription is for you! 


Digital Concert Stream Subscription

For only $95  you can have access to all SSO live streamed concerts for the year. You will also have full access to SSO video on demand. This means you can watch all our concert and bonus content wherever you want, whenever you want, and as many times as you want.

Love our opening night concert and want to see it again? You could watch it every day and its all covered by your $95 subscription!

Have major FOMO because you missed one of the live streams? Have no fear! You can catch all our incredible concerts at a later date and it still only costs you $95.

No FOMO for these lake goers. They have a subscription to the SSO Digital Concert Stream.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Purchase your Digital Concert Stream subscription by clicking here (you can checkout as a guest)
    Purchase your Digital Concert Stream Subscription
  2. You’ll get a confirmation email for your purchase
  3. We will set you up with a unique login based on your email.
  4. Once the Digital Concert Stream is set up you’ll be able to login to watch videos.
  5. Ahead of a live stream, you’ll receive an email with links to watch through the Digital Concert Stream or through a private YouTube link.
  6. Live streamed performances are available for 24 hours – 7 days after all live streamed concerts you’ll be able to watch the concert film of that concert on demand by logging in to the Digital Concert Stream. (there’ll be lots of bonus features and behind the scenes content to enjoy in the concert films!)
  7. Enjoy unprecedented access to the SSO for a year!

You not only get a fantastic discount for all the live streamed concerts by getting the Digital Concert Stream Subscription, but you also get the benefits of video on demand all while supporting your orchestra. How can you go wrong?

Here’s the full live stream lineup:

Save the date! Concert themes will be revealed a month ahead of time. We have so many exciting surprises in store!

 

 

See if you can spot our new billboards around Saskatoon! Let us know where you will be watching from by tagging us on social media –  @SSOyxe.

Ravel’s Mother Goose

Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite is not unlike a thoughtfully assembled box of one’s favorite assorted chocolates: each has something unique to offer our tastebuds, and all should be savored. If one has the time, sampling each of them in one sitting is a real treat. Having been expelled from France’s prestigious Conservatoire, Ravel loosed his musical creativity on the well-known and beloved stories of Mother Goose as a gift to two piano students: Mimi and Jean Godebski. As Ravel would later remark, “the idea of evoking in these pieces the poetry of childhood naturally led me to simplify my style and to refine my means of expression”. And refine them he did… 

In the first movement of this programmatic work, Ravel descends into that delicate world of calm uncertainty we find between waking and dreaming. In his musical interpretation of Sleeping Beauty, the composer’s soft harmonies perfectly capture the stillness of an evening that has almost given way to dawn. The melancholic uncertainty in this introductory piece is not overdone, but gradually sprinkled over the listener like the fabled Sandman’s sleep dust.

The dream shifts once more as we begin the second movement, accompanying the miniscule figure of Tom Thumb on a fruitless quest. The poor fellow searches high and low for his home, while the birds that devour his poorly planned navigational system (breadcrumbs) taunt him with dissonant chirping from the uppermost tonal reaches of the piano. And just as the listener begins to grow weary of hills and valleys, we arrive at the sea.

The protagonists of the dynamic third movement, whose melody is grounded in a lively pentatonic sequence, are a sea-faring girl and her green serpentine companion. After the girl’s boat is scuppered on the rocks of an island inhabited by delicate doll-like denizens, she is named ruler of the so-called “pagodes and pagodines” and weds her companion. This marriage transforms them both into beautiful human royalty, and Ravel encourages us to delight in the pitter-patter of porcelain feet as we listen to the animate dolls zip swiftly from one scene of the story to the next. The meditative entrance of the giant green serpent is a winding and purposeful journey through the island’s flora, culminating in a reunion with the newly crowned princess and offering a pinch of romantic devotion to his character. While beauty is found in dreams and the journey home in previous movements, Ravel foreshadows in this bright collection of scenes the moral of the upcoming movement: that beauty can be found within.

The fourth movement is defined by the Beauty’s waltz, an introspective dance which gives way to the brooding dissonance of the Beast as slowly the two characters (and their melodies) grow closer to one another. The tension builds until their love for one another wins out, and the Beast is revealed to be a Prince. It is here, at the final precipice of the fourth movement, that Ravel tumbles into storytelling that is entirely his own, both thematically and musically.

The fifth movement brings everything full circle with the approach of a prince in Sleeping Beauty’s realm. A magical kiss brings everything into focus, and Sleeping Beauty opens her eyes to behold her true love. The pair venture forth from the drab room in which she slumbered and enter her fairy godmother’s garden to be wed. The themes of love and dreams and homecoming are beautifully brought together in a fitting fanfare that turns the final page of the storybook and score alike.

An Afternoon for a Faune

It can be said of beauty in the arts that the simpler something appears to a beholder, the greater were the creator’s efforts in cloaking the underlying complexity of their creation.

Subtlety, after all, requires a keen eye for detail. Such is the case with Claude Debussy’s Prelude a L’apres-midi d’une faune, a symphonic poem that some consider to be the definitive turning point in the evolution of modern music. Translated as “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”, its enduring fame rests squarely on the piece’s ability to ebb and flow harmonically without losing the passionate purpose and endless curiosity of its flute-playing goat-legged protagonist.

Shying away from musical literalism, the layering of the orchestration and tickling lilt of the flute’s melodies imply a delicate balance between romantic discovery and cheeky flirtatiousness. This is done primarily as a tribute to the prelude’s inspiration, a poem by Stephan Mallarme of scandalously erotic proportions (at least, for the time in which it was written).

Depicting the musing mid-day sojourn of a fawn as he awakes after mingling with his very friendly nymph and nyad neighbors, the story drifts on a current of bubbling flute solos which deliver an intoxicating feeling of otherworldly calm. Punctuated by swelling ascending passages, the final product portrays a metaphor of the human psyche: a beacon of child-like wonder, part rationality and part instinct that lives to investigate and enjoy all that the external world has to offer.

The piece’s musical impact was astronomical, with daring compositional choices being pioneered from its very first performance at Paris’s Salle Harcourt in 1894. Repeating cells of

Stephane Mallarme

music with no real direction, flute solos beginning (unfingered) on the “bad note” of C# that flautists ordinarily stampede away from, and a chordal structure functioning as something of an afterthought in comparison to the unabashedly forward role of its principal soloist. Each of these bold decisions converged into a piece of music which cranked up the heat on a musical revolution that already started to brew, a way of interpreting music through the conviction that it can be so much more than a static phenomenon defined by timeless truths and classical principles.

At a time where social distancing, mask-wearing, and household bubbling have made us all increasingly wary of environmental interaction and exploration, Debussy’s Prelude a L’apres-midi d’une faune serves as a musical reminder of the scintillating pleasures that await us in this garden of life. All we need to do is awaken from our slumber and take it all in, one hoof-step at a time.

Hear the SSO perform this work as part of our Postcards from Paris!
Postcards from Paris

 

Piaf and La Vie en Rose

Imagine falling in love in Paris: a delicate series of scenes painted in soft pastels, where romance shines through every innocent moment of discovery in that bright and historic city. Do you hear the music? It is very likely that the melodies your mind instinctively conjures are a melodic throwback to a classic staple of French songwriting: “La Vie en rose”. The lyrics to this lush piece of Parisian music were penned by French singer-songwriter, cabaret performer, and film actress Edith Piaf.

Immortalized as France’s national chanteuse, Edith Piaf’s remarkable vocal stylings gave birth to a career peppered with high points, and the immediate commercial success of La Vie en rose was certainly one of them. It was the song that made Piaf internationally famous, with its lyrics expressing the joy of finding true love and appealing to those who had survived the difficult period of World War II.

Popularized in 1946, it was released as a single in 1947 to widespread acclaim, with seven versions of the song topping the Billboard charts in the United States alone. The song was popularly covered by Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong, Donna Summer, and Latin singer Thalia. Even Bing Crosby hopped on the musical appreciation train bound for France when he recorded his 1953 album “Le Bing: Song Hits of Paris”.

As is the case with most secret sauces, the harmony between distinct flavors (musical or otherwise) makes all the difference. Similarly, the success of La Vie en rose is owed not only to Piaf’s sparkling lyricism, but also to the subtlety of composer Louis Guglielmi’s musical design. His orchestration deepens our immersion into the musical imagery that makes Piaf’s performance so captivating. Known by his nom de plume “Louiguy”, Guglielmi was no stranger to delightful combinations (himself being a Spanish-born French musician of Italian descent).

Having studied at the Conservatoire de Paris alongside the likes of Maurice Baquet, Henri Dutilleux, and Paul Bonneau, Guglielmi was also responsible for penning the 1950 Latin Jazz hit “Cerisier rose et pommier blanc” (a popular song which would eventually be reconfigured as a mambo smash-hit for Perez Prado). Guglielmi created nearly three dozen film scores during his life, but the musical partnership he showcases with Piaf on “La Vie en rose” is a timeless sort of beauty that sets itself apart. Like Paris itself, this renowned ballad is in a class of its own.

The SSO is living La Vie en Rose and performing it as part of our Postcards from Paris

Chevalier and the Balloons

Audiences today don’t know enough Joseph Bolonge, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and we need to change that because he was an important figure in music history who’s music is making a major comeback.

Chevalier de Saint-Georges was a champion fencer, classical composer, virtuoso violinist, and conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris. Born in the French colony of Guadeloupe, he was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy married planter, and Anne dite Nanon, his wife’s African slave.

His father took him to France when he was young, and he was educated there, also becoming a champion fencer. During the French Revolution, the younger Saint-Georges served as a colonel of the Légion St.-Georges, the first all-black regiment in Europe. He fought on the side of the Republic. Today the Chevalier de Saint-Georges is best remembered as the first known classical composer who was of African ancestry; he composed numerous string quartets and other instrumental music, and opera.

The Chevalier played a key role in the aristocratic life of Paris in late 1700s, with close ties to the Palace of Versailles. The Chevalier often found himself the guest at the private musicales salons of Marie Antoinette at Versailles…with Chevalier playing his violin sonatas, with the Queen accompanying on the forte-piano.

Etching of the September 19th air balloon flight at Versailles

In the fall of 1783, the Montgolfier brothers made a major step in human history – and it all happened in front of the court of Louis XVI at Versailles. The first ‘aerostatic’ flight in history was an experiment carried out by the Montgolfier brothers; at long last, man could leave the surface of the earth below.

On the day, crowds filled the gardens to watch the magical lift off. The balloon took off on a warm September 19th afternoon, with animals instead of humans as its first passengers – and it was a total success. Just two months later the first balloon flight with humans was also success. After that, there was no looking back. It was the first time that humans had been able to take to the skies, and proved that Da Vinci had been right…there would be a way to fly!

Hot air ballooning took off in France, and before long passenger balloon rides were filling the skies above Paris.

Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ music was the toast of Paris and Versailles. During the 1780s, Saint-Georges’ star continued to get brighter and brighter. His output during this time was swift – operas, concertos, sonatas – but he also shaped the music that Paris was hearing. We have Saint-Georges’ to thank for the commissioning of Haydn’s Paris Symphonies, which the Chevalier conducted upon their premieres.

Paris was a place filled with innovation, fascination, ambition, and pre-revolution tensions. Historians know that the Chevalier de Saint-Georges was at the Versailles court in September of 1873, but it remains unknown if he was there on the day that the Montgolfier brothers made everyone dream about flying!

Musical Herstory

For centuries, the writers of musical textbooks (and the programmers of musical institutions) excluded women who composed.

Women have been writing and performing music for as long as men have; so how come we don’t know about very many women composers? In this class we’ll explore the socio-historical reasons behind the absence of women from textbooks while exploring their music and their lives.

With stories such as appealing to the vanity of Louis XIV in order to publish their music, or conducting from a prison cell with a toothbrush, the Herstory of Music shows the bravery and tenacity of women finding ways to create music in a world dominated by men. And the Herstory does not just live in the past – it is being made today by living and breathing women. How much has really changed?

Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

The SSO is proud to present Saskatoon composer Kendra Harder in this six week course exploring the Herstory you need to know.

Classes take place Thursday’s at 7pm (Saskatchewan time) – each class is 60 minutes.

The first class takes place on September 17th, and will be available on video to those who aren’t able to attend the class live on Zoom.

Click to Register Now


How does it work?

Before the first class, you’ll receive an email that gives you access to the 6 weeks of scheduled Zoom classes.

If you can’t participate in the live Zoom class, you’ll have access to the video of the class on our YouTube channel

Week One – History of Feminist Musicology

Composers in focus – Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre and Marianna Martines

Week Two – The Education and Socialization of Women

Composers in focus – Fanny Hensel Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann

Week Three – The Suffrage Movement and Difficulties of Being a Female Musician or Musician of Colour in the 20thCentury

Composers in focus – Dame Ethel Smyth and Florence Beatrice Price

Week Four – Living Composers – The Advancement of Music Technology and the Avant-Garde

Composers in focus – Kaija Saariaho and Sofia Gubaidulina

Week Five – Living Composers – Composers in the Neighbourhood

Canadian composers in focus – Alexina Louie and Cris Derksen

Week Six – Living Composers – Music as a Living and Interacting Entity. Plus – what else do composers do besides write music?

Composers in focus – Kaley Lane Eaton and Niloufar Nourbakhsh

SSO in the Classroom

The SSO has a long history of engaging in music education, both through our programs and through the reach of the incredible musicians who play in the orchestra.

With school music programs facing a time of unique challenges, we’re wanting to step up and find ways that your orchestra can be a resource during this time.

To adjust to the pandemic, the SSO is creating a wealth of online resources that are designed at growing literacy and awareness in music. As such we currently offer Meet the Musicians interview videos, the information from our online Beethoven Festival celebrating the composer’s 250th anniversary year, an online class From Bach to Bartok taught by Music Director Eric Paetkau, and more.

This fall we’re launching a number of exciting educational initiatives that could be used as classroom resources.

Watch SSO Concerts Anytime!
We’re launching our Digital Concert Stream which will house each and every one of our performances in the season as concert films streamed on demand. The SSO’s new Digital Concert Stream allows for classrooms to watch performances at anytime. The concert films feature behind the scenes footage, interviews with musicians, and much more. Supplemental material is available for most performances, including a video discussion of the program with each conductor.

As well we have past performances available upon request, including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.

Online Classes
After the success of our first online class in spring 2019 (From Bach to Bartok with Eric Paetkau, available on request), we are launching a series of online classes taking place throughout the year. In the fall we have Saskatoon composer Kendra Harder hosting Musical Herstory: a history of composers who happened to be women, in November Eric Paetkau presents Isn’t It Romantic: the big romantic hits, and in January of 2021 we launch It Ain’t Over: An Operatic Crash Course in partnership with Saskatoon Opera.
Class videos are available to watch at any time and can progress at any speed. Engagement with course hosts is available upon request.

Kids Show
2020 marks Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and we’re thrilled to present the film of our kids show Little Ludwig. This concert was created as part of our SaskTel Symphony in Schools tour – each year more than 10,000 students get to hear the SSO life thanks to the support of SaskTel.
The 30 minute film follows the life, talents, and challenges of Ludwig van Beethoven from childhood through his musical successes, his loss of hearing, and his lasting legacy. The video is available to watch on demand, and features the musicians of the SSO’s Chamber Ensemble and Maestro Eric Paetkau narrating. The show was the concept of SSO Principal Bassoon Stephanie Unverricht, and features artwork by Saskatoon educator Peter Cowan.

An educational package is available to compliment the performance.

Another children’s show will be launched online in Spring 2021.

Educational videos
A series of videos coming out in fall of 2020 that explore all sorts of musical ideas. Find out how a piano works, 12 things you never wanted to know about the oboe, the rhythms that fiddlers rely on, and how to write your first rap.

Our goal is to create an ever growing set of videos that help everyone explore music making from its most simple concepts to its most challenging excerpts.

Meet the Musicians in Your Neighbourhood
In spring 2020, Eric Paetkau hosted online interviews with a number of SSO and Saskatoon musicians. These are all available to watch in our online archive (available upon request), and we’ll be launching a new series of Meet the Musicians in Your Neighbourhood that also allows schools to book specific musicians to have for online interviews with classrooms.

Link Up
Students had just begun work on Link Up when the pandemic hit Canada. We’re working on plans to remount this programming this year in a way that allows students to keep learning music literacy and participate in a performance with the SSO.

Find out more about Link Up

And More…
We have a ton of ideas of educational programming we are considering, and we’re open to ideas! Maybe students would like to hear about how members of the orchestra balance careers in both music and other professions? Or get a chance to talk to a professional artist who grew up right here on the prairies who’s gone on to perform around the world? Maybe your students would benefit from hearing about the business of music?  We’d love to find ways to help connect students to ideas.

If you’d like to get more information about the resources we’re making available, please fill out our form:

Music Education Programming

 

 

 

Silence Isn’t An Option

Running an arts organization these days is not for the faint of heart. Being an artist isn’t either…particularly exhausting and scary for musicians.

We’ve gone silent. And it feels worse than I’m able to explain in words.

I’ve been very proud of what the SSO has accomplished in the last few weeks. Our digitally distant performances, online concert, musician chats, and Beethoven Fest have had more than 25,000 people from around the world engaging with us. We have gotten to know ourselves in a new way, and we’ve gotten to connect with some patrons in ways we never thought we could. It’s clear that our SSO for You online portal is not only here to stay, but lets us grow and connect in more ways.

Musicians around the world went silent, and immediately the world turned to music…with streamed concerts and playlists meaning more than ever. It has been extra hard for a world on the cusp of celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven.

The pandemic, and its effects on the SSO and music worldwide, has made me do a lot of reflecting about Beethoven. Musicians and music lovers alike know his music, often intimately, down to every last nuance. But there’s much still to consider from the man who changed music.

Just after turning 30, his hearing was slipping away. Nothing is more vital and more critical to a musician than their hearing. As each year passed, he worked harder, explored more, he pushed the limits of music. He performed and conducted premieres that he had to self produce just to make sure his music was heard. His life kept getting more challenging, and often he was his own worst enemy. To him, the world went silent. But his own world was musically vivid.

As his ability to communicate through music became increasingly challenging, Beethoven turned his face to the storm. He wrote. He wrote music that challenged the establishment, he wrote music that changed the way musicians took on their craft, and he wrote music that would go on to change the world forever.

He had something so crucial taken away from him, and he could not give up.

The SSO, like orchestras around the globe, had to go silent. And right now, it’s impossible to know what will happen next. There are great glimmers of hope around the world, with orchestras soon hosting concerts with up to 55% of audience in their halls. But none of us know what will happen next.

Over the last few weeks, the SSO team has become galvanized in the knowledge that we can’t give up.

We hope we can present the concerts we have planned this fall, with adaptations that keep us all safe. But, if we can’t, we have multiple “plan B’s” in the works – concerts that showcase the innovation, creativity, and beautiful music making that the SSO brings to its community. We are exploring ways to digitally capture our school shows, seniors homes, and outreach programming so that we can keep bringing musical experiences to everyone who needs it.

We will make music for you no matter what. We will look to ensure that our concerts are safe for patrons and musicians alike. We will push our creativity to new bounds. We will innovate and explore and face the challenge with determination. Like Beethoven, silence isn’t an option.

It might be different. It might feel strange at first. It will be creative. It will be worth the work and worth the wait.

It may not change the world, but it will make a difference.

Thank you for supporting the SSO – I hope you’ll join me in making a donation to your orchestra at this time when literally every donation makes a world of difference.

Mark Turner
Executive Director

Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas

With 2020 being the Beethoven Year, celebrating the 250th anniversary of his birth, the SSO is exploring his musical genius – and while we instantly think of Beethoven when it comes to symphonies and piano sonatas, his cello sonatas should not be overlooked!

For those new to exploring the music of Beethoven, these sonatas provide a good overview of the three broad periods (Early, Middle and Late) of Beethoven’s development as a composer. As such, they also span the time period and style changes between the end of the Classical era and the beginning of the Romantic era.

The sonatas were titled with the pianoforte listed first with “violon-celle oblige”. This seems fitting given the less important role the cello has in the first two sonatas, early works from Op. 5. These pieces would have served as a novel combination of instruments while still showcasing Beethoven’s own keyboard mastery. Musically, they sound like most early Beethoven – an extrapolation of late Mozart and Haydn. They were inspired by the French cello virtuoso Jean Pierre Duport whom Beethoven met in 1796. Overall, they are not very virtuosic pieces by Duport’s cello standards, but they are brilliant compositions with flashes of technical difficulties that Beethoven was famously indifferent to.

The third cello sonata, Op. 69, is from Beethoven’s most well-known and celebrated Middle period. The cello part is much more prominent than Op. 5 and similar to the violin sonatas in terms of the balance between the two instruments. This is one of the most loved and often performed pieces for cello and piano in the entire literature, beginning with the famous opening where the cello starts the piece alone for the first 6 measures. It is challenging but well written for the cello. This is powerful, gripping music of the artistic calibre of his 5th Symphony.

The Op. 102 sonatas were written in 1815, soon after Beethoven’s deafness had ended his public performances as a pianist. While they are not as inscrutable as his late string quartets, they are more eccentric than the first three cello sonatas. Even contemporary reviewers who loved Beethoven’s music found these two sonatas somewhat inaccessible for the first time listener. Like parts of his 9th Symphony, the music ranges from serene beauty to insistent, almost bombastic passages. Late Beethoven is not everyone’s cup of tea, but after several hearings these works can be appreciated in light of, if not an expression of, the unique frustration and pains of his deafness and declining health.

These five sonatas are some of the pillars of the cello repertoire and also give the listener an introduction to the wide stylistic expanse of Beethoven’s evolution as a composer – and human being.

The SSO’s Principal Horn Carol Marie Cottin

We’ve been keeping in touch with the musicians of the SSO during the pandemic – and we got this awesome note from the SSO’s Principal Horn:
Hi my name is Carol-Marie Cottin and I play principal horn with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. I decided to write about why I chose horn and some of my favourite composers for horn.
I’ve been a proud member of this orchestra since 1993. I started music at a young age. Being the last of six children my mothers made sure all of us started on piano. Unfortunately I didn’t stay with piano, something I regret to this day. Anyway, in grade 6 I started on trumpet. And the only reason I started with trumpet was because my older brother had played it and it was the instrument laying around. I was quite happy playing trumpet and had great teachers in those early years. Actually all my teachers were great I was very lucky in that regard. Then when I was in grade 10 I went to my then band teacher, shout out to Mr. Chuck Hendrickson, great teacher/mentor, and asked if I could play French horn. He said “let me think about it”. So I anxiously waited what seemed forever, but was in reality was only a couple of days for his answer. He came back and said yes. Well I was so excited to pick up this magnificent, complicated, challenging and beautiful instrument. And so began my horn career.
And now I’ll write about some of my favourite orchestral repertoire for the horn. Wow, it’s hard to know where to start there’s so much to choose from. Well as you might know Mozart write so much for the horn: 4 concertos, a rondo, horn quintet, wind sinfonietta just to mention a few. So I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mozart.
Let’s move on to Brahms. Brahms and horn playing to me are one and the same. Brahms had a great understanding of the horn sound and it’s capabilities. Whether it’s a heroic horn call, as in the finale of his 1st symphony or the haunting melody of his 3rd symphony Brahms brings to life the true colour of the horn. For me, Brahms always brings me home to the raw beauty of the horn sound, so pure and simple.
Next, I’d have to mention Richard Strauss. Also someone who wrote 2 horn concertos. It might have had something to do with the fact that his father was a horn player and composer. But I digress. By this time the horn as we know it today was in full use.  Strauss wrote sheer gymnastic, acrobatic horn lines. It’s both a joy and a terrifying challenge to play his works.  There are so many juicy horn parts in all his tone poems; from Till to Don Juan and from operas such as Capriccio (very extended horn solo-3rd act) to Salome and Elecktra. I’ve never met a horn player that just didn’t love to play Strauss.
I will end and what for me is the ultimate in horn playing.  Mahler. I’ve had the great pleasure of playing a lot of Mahler and it’s always been a great joy and full of satisfaction. It’s like the chocolate cake with the cherry on top and a side of ice cream. Yum. A couple of years ago my dream of playing symphony #5 came true.   It was another universe, another reality. I encourage all to go and listen to it. Mahler just knew how to write glorious soaring horn lines that just fit nicely on the horn. As well as writing for the whole brass section and whole orchestra lines that spoke to the true humanity of us all.  His music fills up my soul and expresses all I want to say through my instrument -the horn 📯
Well, it has been a great pleasure to share some of my favourite horn parts during these strange times. Take care, stay safe and stay healthy.
Carol -Marie 📯