Fiendishly difficult and all but unplayable was the verdict when Schumann wrote his Konzertstucke for the new-fangled valved horn in 1849.
Now hailed as the “pinnacle” of horn concerti, Bob Shaw and his three colleagues from the Huddersfield Philharmonic Horns will delight the audience with the virtuosity of their performance, writes Diana Doherty.
Already enjoyed at other venues across the region, it will be performed at Todmorden Orchestra’s next concert in the Town Hall on Saturday, November 15, at 7.30pm.
The quartet’s enthusiasm and talent will continue into the second half of the concert where they will join the resident horn players in Mahler’s immense First Symphony, part of which the composer himself described as “a journey from inferno to paradise”.
Little wonder, with storms and crashing thunderclaps heard alongside sounds of nature, rolling melodies, dances and yodelling oboes. Add on one of the orchestra’s biggest ever line-ups of players, a rendering of Frere Jacques as the French never sing it, eight horns observing the composer’s instruction to play out “even over the trumpets” and the scene is set for a performance of massive proportions.
Marking the beginning of the orchestra’s Centenary season, it’s easy to see why the comment has been made that Mahler didn’t know when to stop writing, since this enormous work is actually the shortest of his nine symphonies. The impressive programme will open with Beethoven’s powerful and well-known Overture from Egmont written for Goethe’s play of the same name.
The concert will be conducted by Nicholas Concannon Hodges with leader Andrew Rostron. Tickets are on sale at the door and are also available from the secretary on 01706 817333 or at Todmorden Information Centre at £10, concessions £8 and accompanied children £1