The Call of Christmas is the latest CD release from French Hornist Joan Watson and features a great selection of some of the world’s best loved Christmas songs arranged for solo French Horn and various accompaniment, including string orchestra, harp & French Horn duets. The CD opens with two hauntingly beautiful original compositions – “Nowell Echoes” by J. Scott Irvine, and Jim McGrath’s “Riddle of the Polar Sky” – McGrath’s piece is powerfully expansive with wonderful orchestral swells which beautifully leads in to the intimate “Away in a Manger”. Classic Christmas songs such as “Silent Night”, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “O Holy Night” all convey the beauty, and even the mystery, of Christmas, while the CD is characterized throughout by the superb musicianship of Joan Watson on French Horn. Joan’s playing is impeccable, technically brilliant, but always warm, engaging and deeply expressive, effortlessly carrying the melody lines while at the same time blending perfectly with her accompaniment. Marie Berard adds some great solo violin work on “Infant Holy” and “Gesu Bambino”, creating a great duet interplay with Joan Watson’s French Horn, while “I Saw Three Ships” receives an added Celtic touch from the bodhran.
With refreshingly innovative arrangements from J. Scott Irvine, Jim McGrath, Chris Dedrick & Howard Cable, as well as great production from Rebecca Pellett,
The Call of Christmas from Joan Watson is a standout Christmas CD from one of the pre-eminent French Hornists of our day.
Joan Watson is Canada’s foremost horn soloist, principal horn, lecturer and educator. Joan is highly regarded as a consummate musician and skilled virtuoso. Her contributions across the country include her current position as Principal Horn of the award-winning Canadian Opera Orchestra. Joan is also a founding member of the prestigious True North Brass quintet and was previously the Associate Principal horn of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 14 seasons. Joan has also held the position of Principal Horn for the
Esprit Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Opera and Vancouver Opera Orchestras.
Joan Watson is frequently heard on the CBC as a chamber musician and with New Music Concerts. She has been a featured soloist at the International Women’s Brass Conference, the International Horn Symposium in Banff and the International Brass Quintet Symposium in Atlanta. As well, you will hear her on numerous commercials, television shows and movie scores. Joan’s solo CD, Songs My Mother Taught Me, is a wonderful collection of classical and contemporary music arranged for solo French Horn with various accompaniment.
A member of the University of Toronto’s faculty of music, Joan teaches horn and lectures on Performance Skills, audition preparation, practice tips and creating a passionate and fulfilling life of music making.
Joan Watson’s latest CD release is The Call of Christmas, featuring wonderful new arrangements of Christmas favorites arranged for solo French Horn accompanied by string orchestra and various other instrumental soloists. In all of her recordings Joan showcases the great breadth of her artistic talent and her mastery of the Horn, receiving wide acclaim from critics and audiences alike.
Joan Watson is a Yamaha Artist and was recently chosen by Yamaha as the first woman brass player to receive worldwide promotion as a Yamaha Artist.