“A remarkable musician, authority and expert on a notoriously tricky instrument, Anneke never forgets that performing is about communicating enjoyment and having the courage of one’s convictions. Concerts with Anneke are always a musical adventure!” (Andrew Manze).
“In Anneke Scott we have a ”natural“ horn player in more ways than one. On an instrument which is perilous at the best of times her technique is such that one is aware only of intellect, musicianship and a glorious pallet of sound. It is a joy to work with her.” (Pavlo Beznosiuk).
“I shall never forget the astonishing playing on natural horn by Anneke Scott in Haydn’s Concerto in D. She seemed to defy the laws of physics."
(Martin Adams, The Irish Times)
Historic Brass Society, December 2015
Anneke Scott, Songs of Love, War and Melancholy: The Operatic Fantasies of Jacques-François Gallay, Resonus Classics (RES10153), 2015. www.resonusclassics.com
"Gallay’s fantasies on the operatic favorites of his day should be essential repertoire for any student of the horn. The intense vocal quality of the melodic lines contained in these fantasies is better than any of the vocalise studies I have played, even those of Giuseppe Concone. Certainly, the fact that these fantasies were composed by an expert hornist contributes to their superiority. But these fantasies also contain some of the most naturally “vocal” lines I have ever heard composed for the horn. Perhaps I am biased being a fan of the Italian repertoire, but other horn players will be hard pressed to disparage the quality of Gallay’s writing in these fantasies.
In this recording, Anneke Scott’s playing is exquisite. Her tone quality, expertly executed ornamentations, and agile hand-stopping technique make these performances truly remarkable. The piano playing by Steven Devine is perfectly balanced to Scott’s horn and together they produce hair-raising dynamic contrasts and bombastic finishes. Lucy Crowe’s voice is perfectly suited to the bel canto style of these settings and together with Scott’s horn the listener is treated to some fine duets between the soprano and the horn.
The fantasies Gallay composed that are represented on this recording are based material composed by the top Italian composers of the day: Bellini, Donizetti, and Mercadante. Gallay was the solo horn of the Théâtre Italien, beginning in 1825. The repertoire he played during his tenure there understandably became the inspiration for these wonderful compositions.
This recording includes extensive liner notes that are both enlightening and well written (they are downloadable by following the publisher’s link above). The importance of these fantasies as part of Gallay’s repertoire is discussed at length in the liner notes, along with the social and performance contexts in which these pieces would have been heard. Scott has dedicated a great deal of time in recent years to recording the music of Gallay. The liner notes she has written for this recording display her immense respect for the music, Gallay, and her world-class scholarship."
Historic Brass Society, 16th of December 2015
Mozart: Stolen Beauties
Ironwood with Anneke Scott, natural & piston horns
Anneke Scott is a natural horn player of the highest order. Her recent releases of works by Gallay are incomparable, and this recording lives up to the same standard. Mozart: Stolen Beauties is a delightful collection of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giovanni Punto, and Michael Haydn. Additionally, this recording features an incredibly demanding set of variations on Mozart’s “Là ci darem la mano” found among the music left behind by the Italian horn virtuoso Giovanni Puzzi. The composer of the variations remains unknown, but the piece gives us a wonderful snapshot of the virtuosity of Puzzi, a student of Luigi Belloli who greatly impressed Napoleon and then went on to become the foremost horn player in London during the first half of the 19th century.
Scott’s playing on this collection is sensitive throughout. Her articulations and tone quality consistently match the timbre of the other period instruments, from the velvety string sounds to the delicate sound of the fortepiano. There are many moments throughout the recording in which the strings and horns emulate each other’s portamentos with great ease.
Aside from the incredible set of variations that opens this recording, there are two very interesting presentations. One is an arrangement of Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” Trio (originally for clarinet, viola, and piano) set for horn, viola, cello, and piano. This Concertante setting was arranged by Barham Livius (1787–1865). Livius was a pupil of Giovanni Puzzi’s and a businessman in London, and similar to the variations on “Là ci darem la mano,” Livius’s arrangement was found in the folio of works left behind by Puzzi. The other pieces on this recording that are of particular interest are three movements from Giovanni Punto’s duets for horn and cello, especially since there may be no other recording available of these pieces on period instruments (at least as far as I am aware).
The Horn Call - Journal of the International Horn Society
46.1 (Oct 2015)
Many horn players know Jacques-François Gallay (1795-1864) only as a composer of horn etudes. He was, in fact, a virtuoso horn player and a prolific composer. Gallay's life spanned a fantastically rich period in the history of opera, and much of his playing took place in Paris opera pits, where he performed great new works of Italian opera. At the time, opera was so popular that many composers wrote fantasias on famous opera themes for solo instrumentalists, to be performed in smaller salon settings - the public at the time was hungry to hear these melodies. Gallay wrote many such works, as represented on this disc.
Let us begin with the obvious: Anneke Scott is an amazing natural horn player. She recorded the disc using a Raoux "cor solo" made in 1823, almost two hundred years ago. Listening to the disc, I asked myself over and over again, "How does she do that?" She has incredible facility with her hand horn technique. Her attacks are clear, she can jump all over the range, her sound is sweet, and her dynamics are sensitive. She is always in tune with the piano (in this case, an Érard instrument made in 1851).
Listening to these pieces on the natural horn is a revelation. Key changes are extremely obvious, because the horn part goes from mostly open notes in the home key to mostly closed notes in the new key. These color changes provide a layer of narrative unavailable to performers on the valved horn. To listeners not used to the natural horn, please give it a chance. It can take a while to get used to the colors and to the sound of stopped notes in the middle of a line, but Gallay puts this palette to great effect.
Young horn players may be puzzled, when working on their Kopprasch, to see the occasional etude filled with ornaments. Those etudes are preparation for works like these pieces by Gallay. This music is filled with trills, turns, and every kind of ornamentation you can imagine, plus virtuosic cadenzas, often performed at breakneck pace. Then the tempo slows, and long, sinuous lines unfurl. The hand horn technique often helps create a portamento effect that connects the notes of the line.
All of these pieces would work superbly on a recital on the modern horn as well. Some are for horn and piano and some add a soprano. The music is utterly ravishing, and the performance from all three musicians on the disc is excellent. This disc is a fine introduction to some little-known repertoire, superbly played.
Horn Matters, 30th of July 2015
Brief reviews: Recent recordings by Anneke Scott, natural and piston horns
Getting it out right away, I love these recordings and basically everything about them. The performances are excellent, production and packaging excellent, and that they are mostly recordings of works that are pretty much not known today that deserve to be better known is also outstanding.
First up is Mozart: Stolen Beauties, chamber music by Mozart, Punto, and Michael Haydn. This recording is simply stunning. If you like natural horn and the music of Mozart at all you simply must obtain this CD.
I really love this CD. I may connect to it so much as I am familiar with some of the music and appreciate how the Mozart themes and works were reworked by musicians back in the day. I was especially taken by the Mozart arrangement by Barham Livius (1787-1865) for pianoforte, horn, viola, and cello, performed on the early valved horn. This work is for an unusual combination but extremely attractive — and also, as I am working on a recording project of my own involving early valved horn (series of articles starts here), I recognize and appreciate the challenges. This was no simple recording to make.
Speaking to challenges, Scott meets them all beautifully. Wonderful intonation, phrasing, great music making. Besides the unusual Mozart arrangements and little known works, the CD concludes with the Mozart Quintet K. 407. A wonderful performance by Scott and the period-instrument ensemble Ironwood.
The second CD is titled Songs of Love, War, and Melancholy, the operatic fantasias of Jacques-François Gallay. Gallay is best known to horn players today for his etudes and unmeasured preludes, but he composed and arranged a great deal of music for a variety of ensembles. This recording features full fantasias on themes of operas (mostly Donizetti and Bellini) performed by horn and piano, and also three shorter numbers with soprano. A great recording that will be perfect for anyone to reference who is thinking of performing one of these fantasias today, but also just great background listening music as well.
Horn players with an interest in opera or Gallay certainly will want to obtain this CD.
Planet Hugill - 27th of July 2015
Dazzling technique, bags of charm - Songs of Love, War and Melancholy
Jacques-Francois Gallay operatic fantasies; Anneke Scott, Lucy Crowe, Stephen Devine; Resonus Classics
Bravura techniques galore in this disc of early 19th century music for natural horn
Whilst it is possible to imagine this music played on a modern valve horn, to hear it on such a period instrument is a revelation particularly in the hands of a player like Anneke Scott who seems to revel in the challenges which that hand-horn techniques bring. This is real virtuoso stuff and throughout the disc her playing sparkles and she brings the right sort of virtuoso brilliance to the music. Gallay's compositions are not the most sophisticated, but they have great charm yet rely on the performer's secure technique to bring them off. Here Anneke Scott and Stephen Devine dazzle and charm in just the right way. But there is a strength and a boldness to the playing too, with Anneke Scott bringing a real muscularity to the solo line.
I loved this disc, and the friend I played it to enjoyed it enormously too. Partly this is because we were simply dazzled by Anneke Scott's bravura control of a virtuoso technique, of a style which had long ago fallen out of consideration.
Early Music Reviews, 25th of July 2015
Mozart: Stolen Beauties
Ironwood with Anneke Scott, natural & piston horns
St George Hanover Square, 21 June 2015
and ABC Classics. ABC 481 1244
"A CD launch concert in Handel’s own parish church of St George, Hanover Square featured the programme from the CD ‘Mozart: Stolen Beauties’. Ironwood is an Australian period instrument ensemble formed in 2006. They were joined by the distinguished horn player Anneke Scott, here playing both natural (or ‘hand’) and piston horn.
The most obvious and startling example of borrowing came with the opening piece, the anonymous Air varié pour corno dating from 1845. An almost symphonic opening sequence full of suspense and with hints of an emerging grand theme suddenly bursts into the well-known Mozart aria ‘Là ci darem la mano’ from Don Giovanni. A series of dramatic variations showed the sheer virtuosity of Anneke Scott’s horn playing to good effect, notable with the distinctive colours of the natural horn, with many notes missing from the available harmonic series having to be achieved by positioning the hand in the bell of the instrument.
The concert, given to an impressively large and enthusiastic audience,
was enlivened by some well-chosen explanations and demonstrations by Anneke Scott."
Fine Music Magazine, July 2015,
Mozart: Stolen Beauties
Ironwood, with Anneke Scott (Horn)
ABC Classics 481 1244
"It was common practice in bygone centuries to reuse material from one’s own work, as well as that from others. Autograph manuscript went missing sometimes, and so the work of musicologists was to put together the pieces of such a puzzle. Here, chamber music by Mozart, Punto and Michael Haydn is heard played with exquisite taste by Australia’s leading early music ensemble, alongside one of the world’s leading exponents of early horn performance practice, Anneke Scott. This disc is an intimate journey into the lives of Mozart and his contemporaries. The selections give us a glimpse into three brilliant horn players of the time, Joseph Leitgeb, Giovanni Punto and Giovanni Puzzi, as well as the latter’s pupil, Barham Livius.
Modern-day scholarship coupled with authentic performance practice, as heard on this revelatory recording, provides the listener with a true insight into the past."
Classical CD Reviews, July 2015
Review: Mozart: Stolen Beauties and Songs of Love, War and Melancholy.
""You’ll learn much from them about horn virtuosi of the Classical and Romantic eras, but without it ever feeling like a history lesson."
"Stolen Beauties hovers around the music of Mozart, but is more concerned with its reception and reinvention in the early 19th century. Two major Mozart works are included, a concertante, arranged by Barham Livius from the “Kegelstatt” Trio, and the E flat Major Horn Quintet. These are joined by an anonymous fantasy on “Là ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni, an arrangement by Michael Haydn of the slow movement of Mozart’s Third Horn Concerto for horn quintet, and three duos for horn and cello by Punto himself. Ironwood, the accompanying ensemble, is an Australian period instrument group here made up of violins, violas, cello and fortepiano. Some of the arrangements are quite large, especially the Don Giovanni fantasia that opens the programme, but good balance is always maintained, with the horn never struggling for dominance. The string players avoid vibrato but still achieve a broad, round tone with plenty of expression. Predictably, perhaps, Giovanni Punto doesn’t come out too well in comparison to Mozart. Mozart’s melodic genius carries this album, and is all too obviously missing in the short Punto interpolations. But then, Punto has the upper hand when it comes to writing for the horn, and the instrument is beautifully displayed in each of his short movements.
Anneke Scott is credited as playing natural and piston horns, but in fact she plays the same instrument throughout. It has a sauterelle, a detachable valve section taking the place of the instrument’s crook – usually, as in this case, a later addition to an earlier instrument. As is clear from the playing on both of these albums, Anneke needs no help from such technology to achieve the many technical feats the music requires. But from her research, the detachable valve section was probably associated with some of this music, so she uses it for the different colour palate it offers."
Songs of Love, War and Melancholy brings us forward a generation, at least in terms of the music being transcribed, with concert paraphrases by Gallay of early Romantic Italian operas by Donizetti and Bellini. Anneke Scott is accompanied by Steven Devine at the piano, an Èrard from 1851. Several of the numbers also include soprano Lucy Crowe, on emotive and impressively operatic form, although Gallay is always careful to maintain a dominant position for the horn, so these tend to be duets among equals.
The best-known music here, at least to me, is Bellini’s La Sonambula. That transcription has some satisfyingly low music – it is so rare to hear the lower register of the horn in early showpieces like these, but Anneke’s sound down there is rich and characterful. Elsewhere, there are plenty of pyrotechnics: fast runs, big leaps, searing melodies. No detachable valve section this time, it’s all done on the face and with hand stopping, and is all the more impressive for it."
The Music Trust, July 1st, 2015
Ironwood with Anneke Scott, natural and piston horns
ABC Classics 481 1244
“This CD is a remarkable and important project, accompanied by very informative notes written by Scott herself. It introduces us to a world of music that is otherwise all too little known, and Scott’s research and prodigious playing brings to life some lovely forgotten music and also sheds new and brilliant light on composers we thought we knew. For horn enthusiasts, the sheer virtuosity of her playing is jaw-dropping. For the rest, we are seduced by the intelligence and liveliness of the music and these marvellously expressive performances.”
HORNWORLD • June 29, 2015
Review: Songs of Love, War and Melancholy
I recently received two wonderful new discs for review from Anneke Scott, a phenomenal performer on both natural and valved horns. Scott serves as principal horn of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and The English Baroque Soloists, and also performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician. In addition to her busy performing schedule, she has also found the time to record several albums of music by the great 19th-century horn virtuoso Jacques-François Gallay. The third and final volume in this series is titled Songs of Love, War and Melancholy: The operatic fantasias of Jacques-François Gallay. As in her earlier Gallay recordings, Scott’s natural-horn playing is expressive, athletic, and robust; in short, very impressive! She negotiates even the most difficult passages on the natural horn with beguiling ease. The selections on this disc belong to a repertoire that was extremely popular during Gallay’s day, but is less known to modern horn players.
The second recording for review today is Mozart: Stolen Beauties, a collaboration between Anneke Scott and the period instrument ensemble Ironwood. The result of this novel approach to programming is an album full of obscure, but nonetheless beautiful, works for horn and various combinations of strings and piano. The exception is of course Mozart’s well-known Quintet, but the interpretation recorded here makes for very enjoyable listening as well. There is a freshness and presence to this album that rivals anything I’ve heard from modern instruments. Like the Gallay recordings, the liner notes are meticulously researched, yet pleasant and easy to read. Horn players will be especially interested in the recording of Michael Haydn’s Romance in A-flat major, which bears a striking resemblance to the Romanza movement from Mozart’s K. 447 concerto. Scott’s explanation and subsequent thesis regarding this peculiar work are quite convincing. I must say that after listening to both works back to back the Haydn seems more musically interesting!
Also of note is Scott’s use of a hybrid instrument, a natural horn by Courtois Frères, Paris, c. 1835, with a removable set of piston valves (sauterelle) by Antoine Halary, Paris, c. 1840. She seamlessly combines both hand horn and valve technique in her recording of Mozart’s Concertante for pianoforte, horn, viola, and cello, arranged by Barham Livius.
On a related topic I’ll close with a general statement about Scott’s natural horn playing, which incorporates lots of different colors and expressive contrasts. There are varying schools of thought regarding hand horn technique, one of which emphasizes absolute evenness and consistency of sound between stopped and open notes. While there is merit to this approach, I personally enjoy hearing a difference in stopped and open timbres, especially when in the hands of a consummate musician like Anneke Scott. When performed tastefully, these contrasts add an elusive, but very important, quality to the music of that era. As a primarily modern (valved) horn player, I have been inspired by these recordings to strive for more expression and timbral variations in my own playing. I think you will as well!"
Early Music Reviews - 1st of June, 2015
"Gallay was performing and composing at a time when the natural horn was beginning to be overtaken by the valve-horn, although in France the progress of the newer horn was delayed by the extraordinary hand techniques developed by natural horn players. The latter is very evident in the outstanding performance here by Anneke Scott, one of the leading natural horn players around today. She produces some wonderfully plangent tone colours resulting from the technique of tuning and pitching notes by using her hand in the bell of the horn. Although the tone of any valve horn inevitably varies between notes, Anneke Scott manages to achieve impeccable tuning. Her playing, and that of Stephen Devine, has a natural musicality that is particularly noticeable in the way they both apply an easy flexibility to the flow of the music. Soprano Lucy Crowe’s three contributions are similarly noteworthy.
The performers’ choice of instruments is particularly apt; Anneke Scott plays an 1823 Marcel-Auguste Raoux natural horn dating from 1823 (from Oxford University’s Bate Collection), a very similar instrument to Gallay’s own 1821 Raoux horn, now in the Paris Conservatoire. Steven Devine plays an 1851 Érard grand piano loaned by the University of Birmingham, where this recording was made.
Even if you are not a lover of the operas of Bellini and Donizetti, these transformations into delightful and dramatic pieces for saloon and soirée are well worth exploring."
The Horn Player Magazine, Spring 2015
This is the third CD of the music of Jacques-François Gallay that Anneke has given us - a rich recompense to the Gerald Finzi Trust who made her an award for the study of Gallay manuscripts in Paris some five years ago. Prior to this recording she presented us with his works for horn alone (Préludes, Caprices and Fantaisies) [RES10114] and the Grand Trios Op. 24 with the Quartet for horns in different crooks Op. 26 [RES10123]. I caught the tail end of Anneke’s launch concert for this disc at the Royal Academy of Music. What immediately struck me, as a mere ‘rude mechanical’ when it comes to hand-horn playing – an orchestrale in Italian parlance – is that Anneke is raising the natural horn out of the arena of ‘yes-very-interesting-but-a-poor-relation-to-the-proper-valve-horn’ into the soft, sunlit uplands of being the beautifully expressive instrument many of us knew it could be. Who, from my generation – that, for decades, only ever had Aubrey Brain’s Brahms trio and Dennis’s Mozarts, Strauss and Hindemith, would ever have dreamed that within a twelvemonth not one, but two, superlative (British) Mozart concerto sets would appear – and made on the instrument for which they were composed? Truly, we are living in an astonishingly rich era of horn recording and progress.
Anneke’s technique is faultless: the problems inherent on the valveless instrument - of intonation and articulation – she floats above – like the lightest soufflé. And her musicality is impeccable. This is a disc you can just stick into the unit and ENJOY. Gallay was a fabled player but his own music could never be said to be in the same league as the great composers of his era – roughly speaking mid 1820s – mid 1840s. So when, as on this disc, he uses the music of his Italian contemporaries – rattlingly good bel canto tunes – we are in for a treat. There are nine tracks, five of which are based on Donizetti’s music, of which the most famous is his opera l’Elisir d’amore (tracks 6 and 7).The first track is a Fantaisie on his first French opera Les Martyrs – not one many of us would have heard of these days: the second, a Fantaisie on a cavatina from Belisario immediately rang my bells (my orchestra recorded Belisario a couple of years ago) and the tune is a real ‘earworm’.
Tracks 4, 5 and 8 are based on music by Bellini – respectively his Bianca e Fernando, then his much better known operas La Sonnambula and Norma. As if all these pleasures were insufficient, Anneke has prevailed upon the superb soprano, Lucy Crowe, to join her and Steven Devine (who, throughout, provides beautifully sensitive accompaniment) in three of Gallay’s settings of arias from Italian opera for voice, horn and piano: Una furtive lagrima from L’Elisir d’amore, Fuis, laisse-moi from Robert Devereux and, of interest to horn players, since he composed duets, a trio and quartet as well as a concerto for our instrument, Saverio Mercadante’s Alla Caccia from his Serate Italiane.
Anneke uses an 1823 Marcel-Auguste Raoux cor solo generously loaned to her by the Bate Collection of Oxford University: the piano used is an Érard, dating from 1851, in the possession of Birmingham University. All in all, everything on this disc marries perfectly – superb research, with supreme artistry, on the best instruments of the period in which the music was composed.
Seen and Heard International - February 19, 2015
"Natural in Every Way: Anneke Scott Plays Enlightenment Horn Repertoire". Anneke Scott (horn) and Christopher Williams (forte-piano), Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff.
[Scott's] performance of Friedrich Kuhlau’s Andante e Polacca, Beethoven’s Horn Sonata in F major op. 17, and Franz Danzi’s Sonata in E minor op. 44, showed Beznosiuk’s praise is certainly not unmerited. Not only did Scott perform with an intelligent blend of grace and directness (which is no doubt difficult to pull off, given the stubbornness of the instrument), but introduced each piece with insightful comments and demonstrations, showing the audience how the natural horn is played. In fact, before the concert commenced, a final year French horn student of the college gave an interesting talk outlining the trajectory of the horn and explained how Giovanni Punto’s (1746-1803) ingenuity extended the capabilities of the natural horn through his hand-stopping technique. The pre-concert talk was well received by those who attended, and is something which I feel ought to be encouraged for future concerts.
A prime mover of Denmark’s Golden Age, German-born Danish composer Friedrich Kuhlau was primarily known for being a concert pianist and composing Danish operas. Interestingly, Kuhlau also introduced many of Beethoven’s works to expectant Copenhagen audiences. Lasting less than six minutes, Kuhlau’s Andante e Polacca is a piece which requires great skill and proficiency. Playing with an astonishing range of dynamics, Scott melted the horn, morphing it into a multitude of different shapes which she deftly carved out of the air. Scott seemed to sculpt sound with Bernini-like precision and polish. Starting as she meant to go on, Scott topped this performance as she played the Allegro moderato of Beethoven’s Horn Sonata in F with touching subtlety. Surprisingly, Beethoven was not well-known outside of Vienna at the time of this composition and after a recital with Giovanni Punto (for whom and with whom the piece was composed) in Pest, a Hungarian critic commented: “Who is this Beethoven? His name is not known to us. Of course, Punto is very well known.” Whilst the tables have turned and Punto has disappeared into near obscurity, this piece remains as a reminder of the fruitful relationship between composer and performer. Though often played with cello and piano, Scott’s recital alongside Christopher Williams on forte-piano, was at once nostalgic and fresh. In the Rondo both Scott and Williams were lyrical and confident in their performance playing with aplomb. Punto’s own Horn Concerto No. 11 in E major is also worth listening to.
Son of the renowned Italian cellist Innocenz Danzi, Franz Danzi composed exquisite works for cello and flute. Sharing the same verve and judiciously punctuated intensity as his cello concerto in the same key, Danzi’s Sonata in E minor for horn and piano is a piece filled with gentle lyricism and fiddly virtuosic passages. Scott remained rooted as she retained a firm (though not restricting) structure to a potentially glib piece. Giving the composition a contemporary feel with her flawless technique and mellow tones, Scott stripped the horn of any brashness often associated with brass instruments.
In this review I must take the opportunity to pass on Scott’s suggestion to her audience members. In one of her eloquent speeches spliced between performances Scott recommended Ferdinand Ries’ Sonata in F major, op. 34 (composed in 1811) in relation to the Beethoven she performed. Interestingly, Ries was taught piano as a child by Beethoven, who encouraged his talent. Subsequently, Ries became indispensable to Beethoven as his hearing worsened, forming an interesting musical relationship which can be evinced from the music. In this sonata the interrelationship between piano and horn is exquisite.
To sum up the overall reception Scott received at the end of the concert, conductor Andrew Manze’s words are most fitting. Commenting on performing with Scott, Manze described her as: “A remarkable musician, authority and expert on a notoriously tricky instrument, Anneke never forgets that performing is about communicating enjoyment and having the courage of one’s convictions. Concerts with Anneke are always a musical adventure!” After an hour in the intimate setting of Cardiff’s Dora Stoutzker Hall with Anneke Scott, the audience felt as though they’d been on an eighteenth century discovery of forgotten and celebrated sonatas for horn and forte-piano. Long may the afternoon concerts at the RWCMD continue.
(Read full review here)
The Horn Call (Journal of the International Horn Society).
Voices from the Past. Anneke Scott, horn, with Joseph Walters (horn), Marcus Barcham-Stevens (violin), Robin Michael (cello), Frances Kelly (harp), Steven Devine (pianos), and James Gilchrist (tenor). Anneke Scott (no release number) annekescott.com.
Marc-Antoine de Dampierre: Tons de chasse et fanfare; Anonymous (after Handel): From the Forrest Harmony; Haydn: Divertimento a tre; Mozart: From Duos for two horns; Heinrich Simrock: Thema mit sechs Variationen; Ignaz Moscheies: Introduction et rondeau écossais; Schubert: Auf dem Strom; Saint-Saëns: Romance; Strauss: Andante; Dukas: Villanelle.
The horn has a fascinating and complicated history, which Anneke Scott explores in this music written between 1734 and 1906. Scott is a wonderfully expressive and agile horn player. She goes for, and gets, maximum emotional impact in each piece. Sometimes she is smooth, sometimes raucous, sometimes singing softly, sometimes dancing with bounce, but she is always musically engaged, which makes listening to the CD a real pleasure.
Most of the repertoire on the disc will be familiar, in particular the Mozart Duos, the Dukas Villanelle, and the Schubert Auf dem Strom (the period instrument Scott plays on this piece, tuned to Classical pitch, makes the piece sound in E[musical flat] to our ears, instead of in E). The pieces by Dampierre are short horn calls, some of them with echoes nicely played by a second hornist (Walters). The Forrest Harmony pieces are duo settings of familiar music from Handel's Water Music. The Haydn is an extremely difficult (though not, apparently, for Scott) trio with violin and cello. The Simrock is a duo for horn and harp. The Moscheles is a Classical era showpiece. The Saint-Saëns is one of two Romances - this is the one in F major. Strauss's Andante is a short piece written to celebrate the composer's parents' anniversary.
Scott plays a different period instrument for each piece and handles them with aplomb - the range of sounds is wonderful. Liner notes describe each instrument and made me hungry for photos - I hope she will post pictures of the instruments on her website. The natural horns in the Dampierre, for example, are played without correcting pitch with the right hand and the intonation will surprise you. It adds to the raw, outdoor feeling of these calls. The Dukas is played on an instrument that can accommodate both the valveless opening section and the fingered remainder of the piece - the valve clicking on the recording reminds us of how far the technology has evolved.
Composers writing for the natural horn had the sound of covered notes in their heads and it is a pleasure to hear these sounds both executed with confidence and incorporated into Scott's wonderful interpretations of these pieces.
Daniel Grabois, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Horn Call (Journal of the International Horn Society). October 2013 (44.1)
Préludes, Caprices, Fantaisies - Concerts Cachés. Anneke Scott, natural horn. Resonus Limited, under license to Anneke Scott ASCD01.
Jacques-François Gallay, from the Douze grand caprices, Op. 32, Préludes mesures et nonmesurés, Op. 27, and the Fantaisies mélodiques, Op. 58: Caprices No. 1-12; Fantaisies No. 3-5, 7, 12-16,18,19, 21; Préludes No. 7,16,18, 23-25, 27, 28, 30-32, 40.
Hornist Anneke Scott is principal horn of Sir John Eliot Gardiner's Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and The English Baroque Soloists, Harry Christopher's The Orchestra of the Sixteen, Fabio Biondi's Europa Galante, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Dunedin Consort and Players, The Kings Consort and Avison Ensemble. She was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2007, an honor awarded to past students of the Academy who have distinguished themselves in the music profession and made a significant contribution to their field. Her résumé alone would tell you that she is an extraordinary period instrument performer.
In this recording, Scott brilliantly performs works by Gallay on the natural horn. Given the abundance of solo horn repertoire written by Gallay, the choices and organization of music on this CD make the disk approachable: Gallay's 12 Grand Caprices are performed in order, with each Caprice preluded by a selection from the 40 measured and non-measured preludes (1835) and in turn followed by one of the more melodic Fantasies dating from the 1850s. Scott's virtuosity on the instrument is a joy to hear. She deftly moves through the difficult hand-stopping technique, bringing out variety of color without losing anything in terms of phrasing and fluidity.
The extensive liner notes, written by Scott, give a detailed description Gallay's life as a musician and the culture of musical virtuosi with whom he lived and worked, producing his works as a composer and instrumentalist in Paris during the early 19th Century. Quotes about Gallay and the music of the period from such luminary musicians as Hector Berlioz and Felix Mendelssohn pepper her narrative with descriptions of the performance traditions of the time and actual accounts of Gallay's renowned musicianship. The instrument Scott performs on with such skill and lyrical grace is an 1823 Marcel-Auguste Raoux cor solo, loaned to her by the Bate Collection. This CD is a must-have for anyone learning natural horn or studying the music of Gallay, and is essential for anyone wishing to have a comprehensive collection of horn repertoire.
Lydia Van Dreel
The Arts Desk (19th January, 2013)
Préludes, Caprices, Fantaisies – Concerts Cachés – Solo works for horn by Jacques-Françoise Gallay Anneke Scott (natural horn) (Resonus)
Jacques-Françoise Gallay was born in Perpignan in 1795. Precociously gifted as a horn player, he got his first professional job as a teenager and eventually enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire aged 24 to study both horn and composition. His reputation soon spread; Rossini wrote music for him and Berlioz was a fan. Valved horns were starting to appear in Germany, but Gallay remained loyal to the hand horn, later composing scores of solo works for the instrument. The instrument’s pitch is determined by the length of the crook inserted; Gallay never specified which keys he required, leaving it to the discretion of the performer.
Playing these pieces on a modern instrument is difficult enough. Hearing them performed with this much panache on an unvalved horn built in 1823 is astonishing. Anneke Scott’s playing is bold and dramatic, Gallay’s theatrical background reflected in the music’s swagger. These short pieces are essentially technical studies, but they’re consistently entertaining. Wisely, Scott doesn’t attempt to minimise the difference between the horn’s pinched, nasal stopped notes and the breezy natural harmonics, making the instrument sound much more natural, much more human. The faster moments are incendiary – I’m addicted to the flamboyant opening flourish of the fourth of Gallay’s Douze Grands Caprices. Scott has sequenced these short works neatly, and several of the slower, more reflective Préludes provide relief from the pyrotechnics. It’s wonderful – and appears on the Resonus label, which means that it’s a download only. But it’s reasonably priced, brilliantly recorded and comes with an excellent sleeve note.
In The Horn Player vol 9, no. 3 winter 2012/2013
Jacques-François Gallay: Preludes, Caprices & Fantaisies
Anneke Scott (natural horn)
"In 2010 Anneke Scott was awarded a Gerald Finzi Scholarship to do research work in Paris into the works of Jacques-François Gallay. This CD is one product of this research. Her performance of three Gallay works at the BHS Festival in Cardiff this year certainly made a big impression on those who heard them. It was not only the facility of her playing but also the quality of her sound, dynamic range and musicianship. on this CD, she plays a cor solo of 1823 made by Marcel-Auguste Raoux loaned to her from the Bate Collection in Oxford. It is interesting to note that Marcel-Auguste Raoux played with Gallay during the period he was solo horn of the Théâtre Italien.
Gallay was the last major hand-horn figure in France. He had succeeded his teacher, Dauprat, first at the Société des Concerts in 1841, and again in 1842 as natural horn professor at the Conservatoire. Berlioz was a great admirer of Gallay's playing and was one of many to comment on the brightness of his tone, the security of his attack, and the evenness of his sound between open and stopped notes. One of Anneke's teachers was Claude Maury, now the hand-horn professor at the Conservatoire, so it is fitting that she has made this recording.
Many of us will remember our introduction to Gallay as students - perhaps, as I was, via his Préludes mésurés et non mésurés. I remember that, at the time, I found them difficult to understand. It was only in later life, when I took up the hand horn, that I realized how beautifully written they were for the instrument. Gallay did not specify the key or crook on which the pieces should be played. This has enabled Anneke to make a virtue of the fact by choosing crooks to match the character and atmosphere of each individual Caprice so that she creates a harmonic framework that gives structure to the complete set.
On this CD, the programme is based around the complete Douze Grands Caprices, Op. 32, of 1838. Each of these is framed by a selection of pieces from his Préludes mesurés et nonmesurés Op. 27 and his Fantaisies Mélodiques, Op. 58. All of the pieces are quite short, lasting between one and four minutes. I found great pleasure in listening to this CD in the groupings which Anneke has devised. These are key works in the history of horn playing and are, for the most part, here being recorded for the first time. Anneke is to be congratulated on her artistry and her zeal in bringing these works to us."
Fanfare - The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors,
March 2013, 367–368.
On this recording, Anneke Scott plays Gallay's compositions on a different horn made by Raoux in 1823. The first thing that you notice is the many different tone colors that we do not usually hear. Scott plays with such fine technique that the instrument's technical challenges are not at all apparent. There are three different kinds of pieces here. Some of Gallay's preludes are "non-mesuré" or unmeasured. They were written without the usual indications of rhythm and meter, thus allowing a degree of improvisation. Of the 11 preludes she plays, most of them are unmeasured and she plays them with propulsive, interesting tempos that form a perfect base for her colorful tone palette. Gallay's fantaisies are more melodic, sometimes verging on folk song. Scott plays them with fluent virtuoso technique and an obvious joy in playing that makes the listener want to learn more about the valveless horn. The caprices are measured but still allow for a great deal of individual expression from an artist with as much ability as Scott. Some of them are slow and show her incredible breath control. Others demonstrate her ability to play quickly and precisely without slurring the notes. Scott's virtuosity is definitely state of the art today.
(for full review click here)
Scott plays with as much style and gusto as any soloist I’ve heard, and her technique on the natural horn is stunning.
(www.hornworld.me review of
"Jacques-François Gallay: Preludes, Caprices & Fantaisies"
for full review click here)
"This really is a rarity. A whole CD of solo works for natural horn – and one which is surprisingly easy to listen to. If the range is naturally limited, the musical invention is not and is well worth the investment of time to get to know these rare compositions."
(www.larkreviews.co.uk on Jacques-Francois Gallay; works for natural horn)
“Anneke Scott...one of the finest horn soloists I have ever heard in the Quoniam tu solus sanctus. I normally forgive horn players for all sorts of wheezes and auditory oddities, but this was absolute perfection... The CD is a must-have.”
(John Butt/Dundein Consort & Players Bach Mass in B minor Concert, St John’s, Smith Square reviewed by Andrew Benson-Wilson for The Early Music Review).
“Anneke Scott’s sparky horn playing and Matthew Brook’s conversational authority conspire to take no prisoners.”
(John Butt/Dundein Consort & Players Bach Mass in B minor reviewed in Gramophone).
“Matthew Brook’s Quoniam is as fluent as the impeccable horn obbligato of Anneke Scott”
(John Butt/Dundein Consort & Players Bach Mass in B minor reviewed in BBC Music Magazine).
* * * * * * * *
“Have valveless horns ever sounded so trouble-free for modern players?” (James R. Oestreich, New York Times reviewing Gardiner/ORR live performance at Carnegie Hall, NY).
“Sublime too is the horn playing in ‘Es tönt ein voller Harfenklang’ “
(The Independent on Sunday reviewing Gardiner/ORR Brahms )
“Kati Debretzeni’s bucolic dancing solo violin...will stay long in the memory. As will Anneke Scott’s rumbustious horn playing...in the Quoniam to solus sanctus.”
(EBS/Gardiner live performance reviewed in The Times).
“Noteworthy [were] the solo obbligati in the arias. Best of all were those in the two bass arias: Anneke Scott ‘s characterful horn line in “Quoniam tu solus sanctus” and the gracefully duetting oboes d’amore in “Et in Spiritum Sanctum.”
(Christophers/The Sixteen/Barbican live performance reviewed in opera-britannia.com)
“In the “Quoniam tu solus” you just had to switch off and enjoy Anneke Scott’s mastery of her capricious but characterful-sounding horn obligato.” (Christophers/The Sixteen/Barbican live performance reviewed in theartsdesk.com)
“Mención especial merece Annek Scott, y su impresionante lección de trompa natural en la parte obligato con que cuenta en el aria Quoniam tu solus Sanctus.”
(Christophers/The Sixteen/Cuenca live performance reviewed in www.mundoclasico.com)