Mozart’s Horn Concertos are perhaps the most popular works ever written for the instrument. This new album is a collection of all the works Mozart wrote for his lifelong friend, the horn player Joseph Leutgeb (1732–1811), one of the foremost players of his day.
In these five works Mozart captures the public persona of an instrument most readily associated with all things hunting, but he also brings it indoors: lyrical episodes, and especially the slow movements, show the very soul of the instrument, despite any perceived limitations of the valveless horn. Leutgeb must indeed have been a worthy recipient of these fine works.
His modern successor is natural horn player Pip Eastop, whose technical ability and musical inventiveness are palpable in these hugely enjoyable renditions. He is accompanied by The Hanover Band and Tony Halstead (who has also provided an ending for the unfinished K417, Horn Concerto No 2 in E flat major).