Tag Archives: Horn

ARTICLE: Elasmotherium – Unicorns of Old

Elasmotherium: Unicorns of Old

The mythical unicorn may have been inspired in part by real-life creatures—members of the extinct genus Elasmotherium, comprising single-horned, giant rhinoceroses that roamed what is now Siberia and southern Russia during the Pleistocene ice age, which began 1.8 million years ago. Having some of the attributes of horses, they were herbivorous like most other rhinoceroses and had molar teeth that never stopped growing. How long were their supposedly enormous horns? More… Discuss

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J.S. Bach / Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1 (Harnoncourt)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Cantata BWV 1: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (25 March 1725)

1. Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (Chorus)
2. Du wahrer Gottes und Marien Sohn (Recitative: T) 09:36
3. Erfüllet, ihr himmlischen göttlichen Flammen (Aria: S) 10:33
4. Ein irdscher Glanz, ein leiblich Licht (Recitative: B) 15:43
5. Unser Mund und Ton der Saiten (Aria: T) 16:42
6. Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh (Chorale) 24:04

Boy Soprano: Soloist of the Wiener Sängerknaben 
Tenor: Kurt Equiluz 
Bass: Max van Egmond

Performed by the Wiener Sängerknaben & Chorus Viennensis (Chorus Master: Hans Gillesberger), and Concentus Musicus Wien under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Recorded by Teldec in 1970.

“Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (How brightly gleams the morning star) (BWV 1), composed for the Festival of the Annunciation (25th March) 1725, is the last chorale of the Year II cycle, since texts in the customary form follow from Easter onward. Bach’s unknown librettist has retained the outer verses, 1 and 7, of Philipp Nikolai’s well-known hymn (1599) in their original wording, but rewritten the inner verses as recitatives and arias. Nikolai’s hymn is only loosely connected with the Gospel reading for the day, the story of the Annunciation (Luke 1, 26-38). The last verse can most likely be interpreted as referring to the coming of the Saviour, and Bach’s librettist has woven further allusions into the second movement. Yet the profound feeling and ‘bridal’ character of the hymn well suit the subject of the festival. 

“The cantata has an unusual instrumental clothing; whereas the wind, with two horns and two oboes da caccia, emphasize the middle register only, the treble register is supplied by two concertante violins, in whose figurative playing the glittering of the ‘morning star’ is reflected. The opening chorus is a standard example of the form most frequently used in the chorale cantatas: the hymn melody, stated in long notes by the soprano (+ Horn I) with counter-points in the other choral parts, is built line by line into an independent orchestral texture.

“The recitatives, mainly set in syllabic declamation, are contrasted with the concertante, joyful agitation of the two arias, in which again instruments characteristic of the cantata’s orchestration are given prominence: oboe da caccia in the third movement, concertante violins with solo-tutti contrasts in the fifth. The simple setting of the final chorale is enriched by the independent part for the second horn.” – Alfred Dürr

Painting: Easter Morning, Caspar David Friedrich


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Robert Schumann: Concertpiece for 4 Horns in F Op 86

R.Schumann Concert Piece for 4 French Horns and Orchestra Op.86

1. Lebhaft
2. Romanze. Ziemlicj langsam, doch nicht schleppend (att.)
3. Sehr lebhaft

Zdenek Tylsar French Horn
Bedrich Tylsar French Horn
Stanislav Suchanek French Horn
Emanuel Hrdina French Horn

Dvořák Chamber Orchestra
František Vajnar Conductor

Rec.: 1976 in Prague


This Day in the Yesteryear: ROY HORN OF SIEGFRIED & ROY MAULED BY TIGER (2003)

Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy Mauled by Tiger (2003)

After meeting on a cruise ship in 1959, illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher and exotic animal enthusiast Roy Horn formed a magic act and incorporated exotic animals—most famously big cats—into their shows. They performed thousands of times without major incident until 10 years ago—coincidentally Horn’s 59th birthday. It was then that Horn was bitten on the neck by a seven-year-old male tiger named Montecore during a performance. What did Horn reportedly say before being taken to the hospital? More… Discuss