Richard Burdick, natural horn
Louis-François Dauprat’s (1781-1868)
Six Quartets & Six Trios for Natural Horns
in Different keys, Opus 8
About the musician:
French Hornist Richard Burdick has been a professional horn player for over 25 years.
He is currently first horn of Regina Symphony Orchestra in Saskatchewan Canada.
He self produces his CD's under the company name I Ching Music (www.i-ching-music.com). Besides being a fulltime musician, he composes music based on scales created from the patterns of the I Ching. His music varies widely from "too calm to drive with" to extremely tense and agitated. His new CD "favorites" is being hailed as "flawless . . .with a huge range of tonal qualities and a huge range low to high."
He was fourth horn of Sacramento Symphony for six years, and a freelance horn player in the San Francisco Area for many years, where he used to manage Trinity Chamber Concerts in Berkeley California.
Mr. Burdick has had 13 audition wins & placed many times. He has never play a Canadian Audition without going past the first round! He has been in the finals for first horn of Victoria Symphony, fourth horn of Columbus Symphony and others.
Richard Burdick has played in orchestras backing up: Luciano Pavarotti, Kenny G, Dave Brubeck, Smothers Brothers, Eartha Kitt, Joshua Bell, Stephanie Chase & many other famous classical musicians. He has been in orchestras Conducted by: John Adams, JoAnn Falletta, Morton Gould, Bobby Mcpherin, Kent Nagano & many others.
Besides his extensive orchestral career, he has gone on exploring the range and diversity of the horn and classical music. Multi-tracking a full string orchestra, an entire Bach oratorio. He is pushing the limits of the horn and succeeding in making beautiful music.
However, In music there is always more, better . . .a lifetime of discovery, self-exploration, progress. It’s a process of finding ones soul, not selling out, not for the money, for the love, the deep expression, the soul , the horn! This is a great CD, but there will be greater from Mr. Burdick.
About the horn:
The horn used is an Austro-bohemian natural horn with terminal crooks made around 1840. Tuned at A: 430 Hertz. It is possible that the horn was made by Marcel-Auguste Raoux.
About the music:
The description of the horn from Albrechtsberger’s (1736-1809) Harmony books gives us a chart of the major triad in C and even avoids the common 9th overtone a normal open tone (D). And he goes on to say:
” Semitones are made by the hand, in the bell of the horn and should therefore be introduced with discretion . . . Rapid chromatic passages display a great degree of technical ability, and may excite wonder but little else. A horn should sing, its most beautiful and magical power is thus perceived. Its notes should develop themselves gradually like those of a human voice in a real portamento di voce of delicate shades; these tones will appear the interpretation of an overflowing spirit – the articulated throbs of a sensitive heart, and will conjure up unbidden tears”
Albrechtsberger (Beethoven’s teacher) recommended melodies of a simple nature and to avoid chromatics. In contrast and not too many years later Dauprat, under the master tutelage of Reicha, wrote music of incredibly complex nature for instruments in different keys, as presented here.
Horn always reads in the key of C, but the length of the instrument varied from Bb basso to C alto. C alto parts sounded as written, all other keys were written higher than sounding, with the extreme low Bb horn sounding down a Major ninth. In these works contrasting and conflicting keys were used and in a masterful way. For Example; the last chord of the first trio is a concert A minor triad. The Low C horn plays a written E sounding concert E. The E horn plays a written Eb sounding concert G. And the G horn plays a written E sounding concert B.
The amount of transposing and then relating the music to what is possible on the valveless horn, is outstandingly difficult.
-- These works are technical and music masterpieces. --
One of Richard’s favorite moments is when two horns pitched a minor third apart both play repeated eighth notes on a written Bb’s: a uniformity of timber resulting from the use of the 7th overtone, in two different keys.
Among the difficulties presented to the horn player are incredibly fast passages, low Ab’s, high A’s and lots of chromatics. The chromatics written for a low pitched (like C or D) instrument are especially hard and often go unnoticed below Dauprat’s beautiful melodies.
About the recording and set up:
These are multi track recordings. Mr. Burdick is performing all the parts. The recording is done on an iMac G5 with the program Digital Performer 4.5 and a Presonus Firestation USB preamp and USB interface with two Mogami MXV V69 tube microphones.
Reverb was added to emulate a large concert hall and a limiter was used to eliminate most of the background hiss. No other sound alterations were made.
The project was begun in Richard’s studio at the Music conservatory, a part of the University of Regina, Saskatchewan in February 2005. After recording all the trios it was determined this studio had too much background noise. The recording was redone entirely in a “sound proof” room in the basement of Mr. Burdick’s apartment. The last day of recording was November 10th 2005 with the complete performance of trio number one done in about an hour and a half.
About the Composer:
Louis Francois Dauprat, celebrated professor of horn and composer for this instrument, was born in Paris, May 24, 1781, and not in 1792, as is stated in the Universal Lexikon der Tonkunst, published by M. Schilling. Possessor of a nice voice, he was placed in Notre Dame as a choir boy and did not leave it un-til the church was closed during the revolutionary troubles. He was still a child when he became passionately fond of the horn and it was this instrument he chose when he entered the Conservatoire de Musique which was founded under the Title of the Institut national do musique. His professor was Kenn, one of the best Cor basses of this period. After six months of lessons, ho became a member of a band which Sarrette, director of the Conservatoire provided for the camp des élèves de Mars, on la plaine de Sablons, near Paris. Later he entered the band of a camp of twenty thousand men formed in the Trou d’Enfer, near Marley. In 1799 he Joined the band of the garde des consuls, and took part in the campaign of 1800, in Italy. On his return to Paris, ho obtained his dismissal and was placed in the orchestra of the Théâtre Montansier. At the same time he returned to the Conservatoire and Catel gave him lessons to harmony; then he wee admitted to the cloes of composition directed by Gossec and took a complete course. In 1806 an advantageous engagement in the Théâtre de Bordeaux was offered to Dauprat. He accepted it, remained in this city until 1808 and did not return to Paris until he was called by the administration of the Opera to replace Keen who had requested retirement. Some time afterwards, Frederic Duvernoy being also retired, Dauprat was appointed to succeed him as solo horn. After twenty—three years of service, he left this theatre because the new ad-ministration in 1831 made certain terms which he did not believe he should accept. Appointed in 1811 an honorary member of the Chapel of Emperor Napoleon, he succeeded Domnich in the Chapel of King Louis XVIII in 1816. In the same year he was made Professor of horn in the Paris Conservatoire. In 1833 the chapel master Paër appointed Dauprat for the part of Cor basse in the new royal band. When he took his leave from the position of professor of horn at the Conservatoire he had for his successor his student Gallay.
“A beautiful tone, an elegant and pure manner of phrasing, such were the qualities which were outstanding in the talent of Dauprat when he was heard in his youth at the concerts of the rue de Grenelle, and at those of the Odéon. All pronounced him a virtuoso destined to the most brilliant reputation, but an excessive timidity prevented him from profiting by his early success and although in his career he had net met with anything but the merited applause of the public, the occasions when he was heard became each day more rare, and he finished by resolving to play no more in concerts. This mistrust of himself was so much the more troublesome as Dauprat only performed music af the very best taste, which he composed for himself, end which was written with more care than is found generally in the solos foir wind instruments. Discontented with the results of his studies in composition, he decided to begin then again in 1811 under the direction of Reicha, and it was to the advice of this skilful master that he attributed all that he learned in the art of composition. He worked with Reicha for three years.