20th Century Sonatas for Horn and Piano

Leslie Bassett, York Bowen, Jean-Michel Damase, Sixten Sylvan

IAN ZOOK, horn
Eric Ruple, piano



"This fine MSR Classics disc introduces two great performers - Ian Zook on horn and Eric Ruple on piano - and works which are seldom recorded. Even those who may be put off somewhat by the term 'twentieth century music' will enjoy this disc, as the music is certainly not avant-garde in nature, and the disc is so beautifully performed. You will be blown away, as I was... For me, this disc is a winner for the Bowen piece alone. If you love the horn, or just want to hear two superb musicians enjoying themselves in music which is not well-known, rush out and buy this disc, which will provide you with much enjoyment."
Geoff Pearce, Classical Music Daily [June 2019]
"I enjoyed all of the pieces... Fine playing by both players."
Kilpatrick, American Record Guide [January/February 2019]
“Throught the disc, Zook plays magnificently... It is difficult to describe his sound, as it is ever-changing, now mellow and warm, now fierce and direct, now practically shouting with glee... all played effortlessly.”
The Horn Call [February 2019]
[ 9 / 9 ] “[In the Sonata by York Bowen] Ian Zook navigates the wide interval leaps with unruffled ease and tonal evenness, while pianist Eric Ruple smoothly dances over Bowen’s often unwieldy chordal jumps and orchestrally-inspired textures... Horn students seeking out novel repertoire will want to jump on these pieces, knowing full well that they’ll have to live up to the high performance standards set by Zook and Ruple. Zook also contributes informative and excellently written program notes. If you’re hankering for horn music that you haven’t heard before and will want to hear again, buy this disc.”
Jed Distler, Classics Today [February 2019]
“If you love both horn and piano, “Musica Incognita” is an album you will enjoy... Though only two instruments are involved, the music on the album is a superbly recorded and engaging feast for the ears, worthy of having a special place in a music library, while it brings recognition to the musicianship of Zook and Ruple and the four composers.”
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [January 2019]
American horn player Ian Zook is an active orchestral and solo performer, appearing regularly in concert throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. As a soloist, Zook has performed with the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Baroque Consort, Chamber Orchestra of Charlottesville, Staunton Music Festival, James Madison University Brass Band at the Kennedy Center and the JMU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony and Percussion Ensemble. His orchestral experience is extensive, having included positions with the Charlottesville Symphony, Princeton Symphony and Haddonfield Symphony orchestras. He has performed on numerous occasions as a substitute musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Harrisburg, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia, Delaware and Vermont, the Pennsylvania Ballet and Opera Philadelphia. Zook has also performed at international music festivals, including the Verbier Festival Orchestra and on tour with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra during the Festival del Sole. He toured as principal horn of the Pacific Music Festival in Japan under the baton of Valery Gergiev and attended the National Orchestral Institute, Sarasota Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Zook regularly presents solo performances and lectures at major universities, including the Curtis Institute of Music, Peabody Conservatory, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Delaware, West Chester University, Penn State University, University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, UNC-Greensboro, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Commonwealth University. A regular performer and presenter at annual Southeast and Northeast Workshops of the International Horn Society, he is active with that organization as their Virginia Representative, hosting the 2017 Southeast Horn Workshop at James Madison University. A strong proponent of period-instrument performance, Zook has played natural horn and baroque horn with the New York Collegium, Washington Bach Consort and Staunton Music Festival, and was a featured performer at the 2005 Northeast Horn Workshop playing trompe de chasse. Currently Associate Professor of Horn at James Madison University, he performs frequently with the Bluestone Winds and Madison Brass, both faculty ensembles in-residence at the school. Zook holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan. His teachers have included Sören Hermansson, Lowell Greer, Bryan Kennedy and Pam Halverson. [ www.ianzook.com ]

Steinway Artist Eric Ruple is Professor of Piano at James Madison University. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, with additional degrees from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Arizona State University. He also a nationally certified music teacher. He enjoys an active career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. He has performed several times at Steinway Hall in New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., including a solo performance of Beethoven’s “Diabelli” Variations. Recent engagements have included performances throughout the mid- Atlantic region and festivals in the Philippines and Hong Kong. He has performed at several American Liszt Society conferences, as well as the 2014 International Horn Symposium with Ian Zook. He has done a number of concerts which feature either the music of Beethoven, Liszt, or 20th century piano music. His most recent solo undertaking is a series of performances including the three books of Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage. As keyboard player with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, he has been a part of many and varied performances, from harpsichord in Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” to featured piano soloist in Bernstein’s “Prelude, Fugue and Riffs”, to harmonium in the VSO’s recording of Mahler Symphony No.8, and most recently, he has been principal synthesizer soloist in the ongoing “Harry Potter in Concert” series.

Horn: Rauch Model II – 003. Stork Orval 4.5 mouthpiece. Rittich mute.
Piano: Hamburg Steinway Concert Grand
SIXTEN SYLVAN (1914-2001)
SONATA for Horn and Piano, Op.7 (1963)
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro

SONATA for Horn and Piano (1996)
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro vivo

LESLIE BASSETT (1923-2016)
SONATA for Horn and Piano (1954)
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante cantabile
III. Allegro, ma non troppo

YORK BOWEN (1884-1961)
SONATA IN E-FLAT for Horn and Piano (1937)
I. Moderato espressivo
II. Poco lento maestoso
III. Allegro con spirito

MSR Classics