Hanjörg Angerer (natural horn) and Wolfgang Brunner (conductor Salburger Hofmusik), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Horn Concertos (Universität Mozarteum Salzburg UNIMOZ 28 www.moz.ac.at), Recorded April 10 -12, 2006. Ordering information: www.blaeserphilharmonie-mozarteum.at or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mozart’s horn masterpieces KV 495, KV 412, KV 514, KV 447, and KV 417 are among the most prized joys of all brass compositions. Hanjörg Angerer’s performance is nothing short of spectacular. Angerer is playing on a natural horn by an anonymous Bohemian maker from about 1800 from the private collection of Michael Walter of Vienna. His playing has that rare combination of being technically flawless as well as musically expressive. Quite a number of recordings of these works have been released in the past number of years and this one is, without question, my favorite. The articulation is absolutely clean and he makes the most of the expressive opportunities the hand-stopped notes offer. The tempi are brisk in the allegros and rondo movements. Angerer manages to bring out the depth of emotion that Mozart created in these masterpieces.
Composer Paul Angerer has presented an informative history of these works in the CD notes. He offers a concise view on untangling the chronology of the pieces. He also deals with views on other composers such as Sussmyer and Franz Beyer who have had a history with the horn pieces. There is also ample discussion about the actual manuscripts and Mozart’s relationship with the hornist Joseph Leutgeb (1732). Paul Angerer wrote the horn cadenzas performed on this recording and he captures the essence of the Classical style beautifully. He contends that Mozart wrote the Concert in E flat KV495 just five months after completing The Magic Flute. As such, Angerer cleverly employed various themes from that opera in the candenza.
Wolfgang Brunner and the Salburger Hofmusik ensemble offer a supportive and wonderfully played role to Angerer’s virtuosic performance. I as well as many other brass players have the legendary recordings by Dennis Brain as the aural signature of how the Mozart horn concerti should sound. Hanjörg Angerer’s recording can bear positive comparison to those great performances comfortably.
-- Jeffrey Nussbaum