[ Warner Classics Masters / CD ]
Release Date: Monday 13 February 2012
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50 GREATEST RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME (No 23) - BBC MUSIC
'Truly an all-time classic. Timelessly neat and elegant orchestral playing under Karajan accompanies Dennis Brain's flawless and characterful horn playing.' ('The Gramophone' Good CD Guide, 2005)
Mozart's four horn concertos were written for his friend Joseph Leutgeb between 1783 (K417, now known as No.2) and 1791 (K412, called No.1, but begun in the year of Mozart's death and almost certainly completed by his pupil, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, for a performance given by Leutgeb in April 1792). The other two works, and the most substantial of the set, were composed in 1786 (K495) and 1787 (K447).
Dennis Brain came from the third generation of a family that produced five notable horn-players. His command of his instrument was such that he was able to produce an unmistakable personal tone that is instantly recognisable. His phenomenal technique and his apparent lack of nerves made him one of the great instrumentalists of his time (whether as solo, ensemble or orchestral player) and his reputation has achieved a legendary status in the nearly 50 years since his tragically early death in a car accident.