Cambridge Horn Consort

Date: 1 Nov 2008 - 19:30
End Date: 1 Nov 2008 - 23:00
Event details: Egmont Overture Beethoven
arranged for 8 horns & tuba by Alan Civil
In 1829 Beethoven received a commission to write incidental music for the Viennese Imperial Court production of Goethe's drama the following year. Beethoven's music consists of ten numbers, but it is only the Overture that has found a permanent place in our present day orchestral repertoire.

Portrait Anthony Randall
an original composition for 7 horns & tuba
solo horn Donald Clist
"Horn player, conductor, and composer Anthony Randall was a colleague and close friend of Ifor James for more than 40 years. Dedicated to his memory, the composer "tried to capture Ifor's playing, his wicked sense of humour, his titanic struggle against illness and finally, his enduring spirit." I was present at the first performance of this fascinating piece, conducted by the composer, in October 2005 and was moved to tears. The essence of Ifor's indomitable spirit is wonderfully captured in its chameleon-like shifts of colour and texture, its various moods encompassing an elegiac aria for the 1st horn, followed by an athletic optimism and defiance, finishing in a resigned but consolatory mood. The ensemble writing, although challenging, is tonally rewarding in all the parts. For practical purposes the Tuba part can be replaced by an 8th horn but I am sure that wherever possible the composer's original scoring is preferable." Anthony Halstead, The Horn Player, December 2007


A remarkable, zany ensemble of reeds led by principle oboe, arranger and composer Rob Rogers

Der Freischütz Suite Weber

We are proud to give the first UK performance of this suite, brilliantly arranged by Berlin Philharmonic horn player Klaus Waldendorf for 8 horns and released on their recent CD "Opera"

1. Freischütz
2. Chorus Brautjungfern
3. Überleitung
4. Ariette
5. Agarthe Aria
6. Jäger Chorus

When Der Freischütz was premiered in Berlin on 18 June 1821, it was immediately recognised as a turning-point in the history of German opera. Unlike so many previous operas, the piece was not set in Italy or in Classical Antiquity. Nor was it peopled by mythological or noble characters. Rather, Der Freischütz was set at the end of the Thirty Years' War - one of the darkest episodes in Germany's history - and in a forest in Bohemia. And its dramatis personae consisted of peasants and hunters - characters who had formerly appeared in opera as mere comic side-kicks, if at all. Not only was the opera's setting of the forest characteristically German; it also appealed to the Romantic idealisation of the lives of the forester and hunter, as opportunities for manly self-discovery. The plot tells of a shooting-match that Max, a forester, must win if he is to ensure his marriage to Agathe. Another forester, Caspar, however, has made a Faustian pact with the diabolic Black Huntsman, Samiel, who grants him magic bullets that always hit their target, in return for the eventual surrender of Caspar's or another victim's life. Max becomes embroiled in Caspar's schemes, accepting use of a magic bullet to ensure victory in the shooting-match. Yet Caspar plans to offer Max as a sacrifice to the Black Huntsman, and then instead agrees that Agathe should be the victim hit by the magic bullet. Thus the shooting-match and impending wedding are not innocent rural festivities, but filled with an impending sense of horror that is nothing short of Gothic.

West Side Story Suite Leonard Bernstein arranged by Tim Jackson for 12 horns and percussion

1. America
2. Maria (and also incorporating Tonight)
3. I feel pretty
4. Officer Krupke
5. Somewhere

It's sometimes hard to remember that West Side Story (1957) was no bolt from the blue. It has an honourable pedigree, both in its Broadway ancestry and in its precursors in the Bernstein work-list. Musicals such as his On the Town (1944), Wonderful Town (1953) and Candide (1956) had all provided abundant evidence of Leonard Bernstein's extraordinary musical versatility, his boldness of style and freshness of idiom. Nor, with the Voltairean origins of Candide in mind, should the Shakespearean antecedents of West Side Story surprise us. An accolade to Bernsteins' enduring success is the number of arrangements of his music; This suite has been commissioned for us and includes some of the iconic melodies from the show.


The Trolley Song

The song was written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin for the 1944 MGM movie, Meet Me In St Louis and famously performed by Judy Garland. This arrangement, for 14 horns, by Richard Bissell appears on the soon to be released "Give It One" CD featuring some of the Uk's most talented horn players, more details at

Fat Belly Blues Richard Bissell
solo horn: Martin Childs
Richard wrote this blues number for our Musical Director Tony Halstead. A lazy blues number for 6 horns, keyboards, rhythm and bass demonstrates the fantastic low register range of the instrument.

Tico Tico Zequinha de Abreu

solo horns: Donald Clist & Jim Mildred
In 1917, Abreu's orchestra played a new composition - still unnamed - at a ball. This jumpy, fast-tempo song made the dancing couples go crazy in the ballroom. He commented to his bandmates that those people were just like tico-ticos (a small, local bird) eating corn meal. When he asked for suggestions about the song's name, his bassist Artur de Carvalho replied that he had already named it: "Tico-tico No Fubá (Tico-tico Bird in the Cornmeal)" "Tico-Tico no Fubá" enjoyed mild success in dancing rooms of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in the 20s and 30s. In 1943 it suddenly became an international hit when organist Ethel Smith played it in Walt Disney's animated film "Saludos Amigos", later reinforced by Carmen Miranda's zestful rendition of the song in "Copacabana" (1947). Modern audiences may recall Brazilian actress Denise Dumont singing it on-screen in Woody Allen's "Radio Days" (1987), in a somewhat Cubanized version, with Tito Puente's percussion. This amazing rendition of the famous Abreu piece is for 14 horns, the two solo horns requiring incredible technical dexterity in the high register.

Ticket info £15, £12.50 (concessions)
Event location show map


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