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Dennis Brain - Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4; Quintet K452

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Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4; Quintet K452

Dennis Brain

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In spite of his tragically brief career, British horn player Dennis Brain was one of the few wind players of the 20th century to achieve something close to superstar status. Besides reviving interest in the great horn literature from the past, he inspired many composers to expand its solo and chamber music repertoire, including Hindemith, Poulenc, and a number of British composers, most notably Britten, who wrote some of his most sublime music for Brain. His recording of the four Mozart horn concertos remains a classic, and it's reissued here with Mozart's Quintet for piano and winds, K. 452. While there are certainly a variety of approaches to the concertos, it would be hard to deny that Brain's performance comes about as close to perfection as imaginable. His tone is distinctively noble, pure, creamy, and full, and his technique is unimpeachable. One of the most striking things about his performance is its seamlessness, and his velvety legato has seldom been surpassed. Most importantly, he brings poise and an innate sense of elegance to the concertos that are ideal for this serenely beautiful music. Herbert von Karajan leads the Philharmonia Orchestra in a graceful, appropriately understated accompaniment. The orchestra is larger than what has become standard since the advent of historically informed performance practice, with its leaner ensembles and use of period instruments, but Karajan's crisp readings are models of mid-20th century Mozart performances. Mozart wrote that his Quintet for piano and winds, K. 452, was "the best thing so far I have written in my life," and it is exceptionally graceful, inventive, and witty. Pianist Colin Horsley and the Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble play it with the delicacy and finely calibrated precision to make it really sparkle. The somewhat distant mono sound is a drawback, particularly in the concertos, but it can be ameliorated by boosting the volume a little. It is clean, though, and does capture the magic of Brain's sound and interpretations.
© TiVo

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Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4; Quintet K452

Dennis Brain

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1
Horn Concerto No. 1 in D Major, K. 412: I. Allegro
00:04:43

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Horn Concerto No. 1 in D Major, K. 412: II. Rondo. Allegro (Compl. Süßmayr)
00:03:44

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-Flat Major, K. 417: I. Allegro maestoso
00:06:38

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-Flat Major, K. 417: II. Andante
00:03:34

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-Flat Major, K. 417: III. Rondo
00:03:42

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Horn Concerto No. 3 in E-Flat Major, K. 447: I. Allegro
00:07:04

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Horn Concerto No. 3 in E-Flat Major, K. 447: II. Romance. Larghetto
00:04:57

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

8
Horn Concerto No. 3 in E-Flat Major, K. 447: III. Allegro
00:03:48

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

9
Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-Flat Major, K. 495: I. Allegro moderato
00:08:05

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, Horn, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-Flat Major, K. 495: II. Romance. Andante cantabile
00:04:28

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-Flat Major, K. 495: III. Rondo. Allegro vivace
00:03:40

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Walter Legge, Producer - Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra - Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor - Dennis Brain, French Horn - Douglas Larter, Engineer - Dennis Brain/Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan, MainArtist

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1954 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. Remastered 1997 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

12
Quintet for Piano & Winds in E-Flat Major, K. 452: I. Largo - Allegro moderato
00:10:09

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Christopher Parker, Recording Engineer - David Bicknell, Recording Producer - Cecil James, Bassoon - Dennis Brain, Horn, MainArtist - Colin Horsley, Piano, MainArtist - Leonard Brain, Oboe - Stephen Waters, Clarinet - Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble, Ensemble, MainArtist - Alan Melville, Recording Producer

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1955 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd Digital remastering (p) 1997 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

13
Quintet for Piano & Winds in E-Flat Major, K. 452: II. Larghetto
00:07:06

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Christopher Parker, Recording Engineer - David Bicknell, Recording Producer - Cecil James, Bassoon - Dennis Brain, Horn, MainArtist - Colin Horsley, Piano, MainArtist - Leonard Brain, Oboe - Stephen Waters, Clarinet - Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble, Ensemble, MainArtist - Alan Melville, Recording Producer

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1955 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd Digital remastering (p) 1997 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

14
Quintet for Piano & Winds in E-Flat Major, K. 452: III. Rondo (Allegretto)
00:05:46

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer - Christopher Parker, Recording Engineer - David Bicknell, Recording Producer - Cecil James, Bassoon - Dennis Brain, Horn, MainArtist - Colin Horsley, Piano, MainArtist - Leonard Brain, Oboe - Stephen Waters, Clarinet - Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble, Ensemble, MainArtist - Alan Melville, Recording Producer

2009 EMI Records Ltd. 1955 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd Digital remastering (p) 1997 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

Album Description

In spite of his tragically brief career, British horn player Dennis Brain was one of the few wind players of the 20th century to achieve something close to superstar status. Besides reviving interest in the great horn literature from the past, he inspired many composers to expand its solo and chamber music repertoire, including Hindemith, Poulenc, and a number of British composers, most notably Britten, who wrote some of his most sublime music for Brain. His recording of the four Mozart horn concertos remains a classic, and it's reissued here with Mozart's Quintet for piano and winds, K. 452. While there are certainly a variety of approaches to the concertos, it would be hard to deny that Brain's performance comes about as close to perfection as imaginable. His tone is distinctively noble, pure, creamy, and full, and his technique is unimpeachable. One of the most striking things about his performance is its seamlessness, and his velvety legato has seldom been surpassed. Most importantly, he brings poise and an innate sense of elegance to the concertos that are ideal for this serenely beautiful music. Herbert von Karajan leads the Philharmonia Orchestra in a graceful, appropriately understated accompaniment. The orchestra is larger than what has become standard since the advent of historically informed performance practice, with its leaner ensembles and use of period instruments, but Karajan's crisp readings are models of mid-20th century Mozart performances. Mozart wrote that his Quintet for piano and winds, K. 452, was "the best thing so far I have written in my life," and it is exceptionally graceful, inventive, and witty. Pianist Colin Horsley and the Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble play it with the delicacy and finely calibrated precision to make it really sparkle. The somewhat distant mono sound is a drawback, particularly in the concertos, but it can be ameliorated by boosting the volume a little. It is clean, though, and does capture the magic of Brain's sound and interpretations.
© TiVo

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