Works for 2 Horns and Chamber Orchestra

Franz Joseph Haydn, Antonio Rosetti, Kerry Turner, Antonio Vivaldi


Sinfonietta Cracovia
Dariusz Wisniewski

World Premiere Recordings



"Turner and Mascher display admirable musicianship with deft passagework and nimble dynamic marking...the solo playing is elegant in good 18th century style...Turner floats a graceful solo in the Romanza with some artfully nuanced dynamic shading."
Gramophone - October 2007
"Beautiful works for two horns, expertly played."
American Record Guide - September / October 2007
"Here's another "find" from the Connecticut-based MSR Records company who offers a wonderfully diversified catalogue of music you are not likely to find elsewhere....The artists that appear on this disc...are indeed virtuosos of the first rank...all the works on this disc [are] impeccably performed, with outstanding support from the Sinfonia Cracovia under Dariusz Wisniewski's baton...The interesting thing about this disc is that both hornists—obviously with similar outstanding techniques and talents—vacillate as to which artist plays the first horn part. The booklet indicates who plays first horn in each of the movements of all pieces, something rather of nice to know, though both play with such virtuosity and enthusiasm that it doesn't really matter at all. Another point is that Kristina Mascher plays a Ricco Kühn triple horn whereas Kerry Turner plays a Paxman triple. The two instruments blend and are voiced perfectly...The recording quality is outstanding with good balances between the soloists and orchestra with very natural acoustics. If you are fond of brass music, and especially the horn, this will be a recording you will want to add to your collection, but if you enjoy music from the time of Haydn, this will add substantially to your collection. The big news for me, however, is to make the discovery these two supreme artists of the French horn, Mascher and Turner."
Classical Music Guide - June 2007
"... all performed exquisitely...the balance and artistry of both players is most effective..."
The Horn Call - May 2007
"... the music is all quite wonderful, as is the playing by both Turner and Macher. Recommended to all classical collections."
CD Library HotList - May 2007
It is with great pleasure that we present these four works for two solo horns and chamber orchestra. The opening concerto by Haydn has been a source of controversy among horn players for quite some time. This charming and highly melodic work has all the trademarks of a concerto by his contemporary, the horn player Antonio Rosetti. Indeed, it would not at all have been unusual for Rosetti to use the great Haydn name in order to sell what may have been his finest piece of music. Apparently that sort of thing was done rather regularly in those days. The version on this recording is from the first publication of the Oettinger-Wallenstein Manuscript and was arranged by Edmond Leloir. The concerto in E-flat by Rosetti, which we have included on this album, could almost stand as proof of this theory as there are many similarities between the two works. Antonio Rosetti understood the horn remarkably well- he was after all a horn player- and this is quite evident in these two works. The version recorded here of the Concerto Grosso number 11 from the larger group of works entitled "L`estro armonico" is an arrangement that was presented to us by Mr. Zoltan Varga with the request that we perform it at the Hungarian International Horn Festival at Mór. After assessing its success, we decided to include it on this recording.It has become a staple of our repertoire ever since. The decision regarding the fourth work of the album was not an easy one. There is, after all, a plethora of great concertos written for 2 horns and orchestra-Bach, Vivaldi, Leopold Mozart, Kuhlau, Händel and Telemann, to name just a few. Naturally we wanted to include something a little bit different and perhaps something new. Thus we came upon the idea to rework a piece of mine originally composed for solo horn and organ. We had previously performed this piece rearranged for two horns and piano at a recital in Rome. At that time, I knew that this Gothic-sounding work had not yet found its true home. Adding some new material and a few special effects and reworking it for string orchestra seemed to be an answer to this call. The story behind the piece is a simple one: there is a writers´ competition called the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, inspired by the parenthetical, rambling, melodramatic opening lines of a novel by the author of the same name. Contestants submit a sentence intended to open a novel, usually comic or satirical in nature, along the lines of the original "It was a dark and stormy night…" It just so happens that this is a wonderful way to start a musical composition as well. I truly had no idea where I was going with this work until I wrote the opening solo horn call- my version of "Twas a dark and stormy night…" [Kerry Turner]

The Virtuoso Horn Duo, Kerry Turner and Kristina Mascher, began performing in 2002. These two highly accomplished horn players began studying, perfecting and performing the existing repertoire for two horns, putting a particular emphasis on the concertos with orchestra, many of which were written by very well known composers, such as Haydn, Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann. After performing at the Britain in Luxembourg Exhibition in 2002 , the Deputy Head of Mission wrote, "Exhibitors were unanimous in praising the animation you helped to provide. The only complaint was that they would have liked even more." Shortly thereafter, Kristina and Kerry presented a recital and master class at the University of Prague and at further venues in Luxembourg. They have traveled extensively, giving concerts to enthusiastic audiences in Valencia, Spain at the International Horn Society’s Annual Workshop, the 2nd Australian Brass Festival in Melbourne, Australia, at the Academy of Music in Singapore, and at the Festival of Nations in Rome. The VHD has also performed in the Southwest USA (including AIR Horns in Arizona) and Germany. They have performed and offered master classes at Virginia Commonwealth University and for the USAF Heritage of America Band, as well as appearing as soloists with the Richmond Symphony. Mr. Turner and Ms. Mascher have also appeared in concert and given master classes and lectures at the 2nd Horn Festival in Mor, Hungary, at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, the Czech Horn Festival in Nove Straseci, as well as recording these concertos for 2 horns and chamber orchestra with the Sinfonia Cracovia and Dariusz Wisniewski. The Virtuoso Horn Duo offers a program of highly melodic, sometimes traditional and often technically dazzling horn playing, combined with world-class artistry and execution.

Transcribed from the original for 2 violins and cello by Zoltan Varga

Cadenza by Turner

"TWAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT" (2006) Tone poem for 2 horns and strings

MSR Classics