Capturing the majestic call of the horn and the life of St. Hubert, patron saint of the hunt, the Eastman Horn Choir will perform its annual St. Hubert’s Day concert Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Eastman Theatre.
Peter Kurau, associate professor of horn at Eastman, will direct the horn choir.
“We’re excited to present our tribute to St. Hubert, especially since so much of our repertoire owes its inspiration and lineage to [hunting],” Kurau said. Kurau succeeded his teacher, Eastman Professor Emeritus Verne Reynolds, as director of the horn choir.
The concert, featuring 25 gifted Eastman hornists, is free.
The Eastman Horn Choir, a distinguished part of the horn and brass ensemble tradition, was recently invited to present two concerts at the prestigious 2002 International Horn Festival. This festival will be presented in Lahti, Finland.
The concert will feature a variety of hunt music composed for horn ensembles, chamber groups and solo horn.
One of the special guests performing will be the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Eastman School of Music horn quartet.
This group is comprised of four notable musicians ? Dietrich Hemann, acting principal horn of the RPO, Jennifer Burch, RPO second horn, Elizabeth Porter, senior horn performance major and candidate for the school’s Performer’s Certificate and Kurau.
Works by Steigler and Rossini, actually written to be played during the hunt, will be presented alongside horn ensemble works by Wagner, Krol and Cheetham. Student horn chamber groups will also perform works by Bozza, LeClair and McAlister.
The Rondo movements of the four Mozart Horn Concerti, rather evocative of the hunt in style, will be offered in a uniquely spiced-up form. In a delightful departure from the ordinary, the witty jabs that Mozart himself inserted into one of the scores ? intended for his friend, the hornist Leutgeb ? will be recited by a narrator.
Mozart composed his horn works in the latter portions of an unfortunately short life, his first work being the Concerto Rondo in E-flat, K. 371, composed in 1781 when Mozart was 25. Concerti that followed, specifically K. 417, 447 and 495, were dedicated to Leutgeb.
Many years later, Dennis Brain, an Englishman, created some of the finest, most hauntingly lyrical recordings of the Horn Concerti on the renowned record label EMI. Brain, like Mozart, perished at a young age. He died in an auto accident at the age of 36.
“We hope that many colleagues and students from the university community can join us for what will be an interesting and entertaining event,” Kurau said.
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