The works featured in this programme can be heard on "Jacques-François Gallay, Préludes, Caprices & Fantaisies" released on "the world's first solely-digital classical label"Resonus Classics label (free downloadable sleeve notes here). CDs of the album are available from here. Reviews can be found here.
Caprice: A kind of free music, in which the composer, without subjecting himself to any theme, gives loose rein to his genius, and submits himself to the fire of composition.
This one hour programme features the complete set of the Op.32 Douze Grands Caprices by the composer and horn player Jaques-François Gallay (1795-1864). These works for unaccompanied natural horn were very much part of the 19th century vogue for virtuosic, expressive solo works written by composer-instrumentalists, typified by the Paganini Caprices for solo violin. These are dramatic, operatic works that take the listener on a journey through a range of contrasting emotions.
Gallay was born in Perpignan in 1795 where his talents were spotted at an early age. He later moved to Paris to study with the highly influential Louis-François Dauprat at the Conservatoire where he won the Premier Prix. After completing his studies he intially joined the Odéon Orchestra leaving soon afterwards to become cor solo (principal horn) at the Theatre Italien, a post he held in conjunction with cor solo in the private orchestra of Louis-Phillippe I. It was in recognition of his achivements as a musician that he succeeded Dauprat not only at the Societe des Concerts but also as professor at the Conservatoire, two of the most influential posts in 19th century Paris, and was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.
The creation of this programme is thanks to the Gerard Finzi Trust who, in 2010, awarded Anneke Scott a scholarship which funded research in preparation for her recording of these works.
To learn more about this project and the subsequent recording please click here.