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Encore, My Good Sir / Lin Jiang, Benjamin Martin


Release Date: 02/10/2009 
Label:  Melba   Catalog #: 301116   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Robert SchumannPeter Maxwell DaviesGunther SchullerEsa-Pekka Salonen,   ... 
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] JiangBenjamin Martin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

What an impressive recording! Hornist Lin Jiang was born in 1986 in Shanghai, China and moved to Australia at age 5. According to the booklet notes, he is now one of the most sought after soloists in Australia and has performed with several of Australia’s major orchestras. He was awarded the Barry Tuckwell Brass Prize at the Melbourne International Festival of Brass in 2004 and is a member of the Australian Chamber Brass Ensemble. He has continued to study with Tuckwell, one of the world’s greatest horn virtuosos. His pianist on this recording, the Australian Benjamin Martin, also deserves equal recognition and receives shared billing on the CD — something that does not happen often enough. However, for the most part, this is Lin Jiang’s Read more show. The program he has chosen demonstrates his versatility as well as his virtuosity.

It’s a nicely varied recital, if with a majority of twentieth-century works. Lin captures the Romantic ardor of the Schumann staple very well, neither underplaying it nor going over the top, as some hornists are wont to do. This and the Poulenc, which also receives a superb performance, are the most frequently heard of the works on the CD. The most substantial selection, however, is arguably Hindemith’s Sonata for Alto Horn that the composer also arranged for French horn. Lin and Martin do total justice to the work. There is nothing dry or academic in their fluent, magisterial account. The three pieces for solo horn are also quite varied. It should be noted that the booklet erroneously lists the final selection, Encore, My Good Sir, as a solo work. It is for horn and piano. However, the preceding piece, Otto Ketting’s Intrada is for solo horn, though not listed as such. Maxwell Davies’ Sea Eagle gets virtuosic treatment here, but I still find it a difficult work to come to terms with. (See my review of the disc Fantasie: Music for Horn performed by Etienne Cutajar for more on this work.) On the other hand, the transcription of Bach’s Gigue from his Third Cello Suite, is convincing and well played, even if it in no way replaces the original. The other works on the CD are all attractive, especially Schuller’s lyrical Nocturne, with its bluesy overtones, and Salonen’s Horn Music I that he composed at the ripe age of 18! It’s not surprising that these two composers were also hornists. On the lighter side is the last work on the disc, Encore, My Good Sir, by Lin’s fellow student Thaddeus Huang. It is a tuneful piece that shows off the horn well. Finally, the fun and difficult arrangement Dennis Brain made of Marin Marais’ viola de gamba work Le Basque, which became a sort of signature encore piece of Brain’s, is tossed off by Lin as if it were a simple exercise.

In all, a remarkable talent and a delightful disc.

-- Leslie Wright, MusicWeb International

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“Lin and Benjamin successfully convey the musical integrity and emotion that is all too often lost in pieces of this calibre.” -- 2MBS Fine Music (Australia)

“ … One of the most exciting horn soloists of his generation … happily brought to us with Melba Recordings’ customary artistic and technical flair … it’s a surefire winner.” -- Music and Vision Daily (UK)

“A perfect presentation of Jiang’s musical credentials: engaging tone, well-shaped phrasing and seemingly effortless traversal of the horn’s large range.” -- The Age Green Guide (Australia)
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Works on This Recording

1.
Adagio and Allegro for Horn/Cello and Piano in A flat major, Op. 70 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Length: 8 Minutes 23 Secs. 
2.
Sea Eagle by Peter Maxwell Davies
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; Orkney, Scotland 
Length: 7 Minutes 25 Secs. 
3.
Nocturne for Horn and Piano by Gunther Schuller
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
4.
Hornmusic I by Esa-Pekka Salonen
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
Length: 8 Minutes 5 Secs. 
5.
Elégie for Horn and Piano by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; France 
Length: 9 Minutes 40 Secs. 
6.
Vielles danses françaises (5): no 5, Le Basque by Marin Marais
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Paris, France 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dennis Brain. 
7.
Sonata for Alto Horn and Piano in E flat major by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Length: 10 Minutes 6 Secs. 
8.
Suite for Cello solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1009: 6th movement, Gigue by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
9.
Intrada by Otto Ketting
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Netherlands (Holland 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
10.
Encore, My Good Sir by Thaddeus Huang
Performer:  Jin [French Horn] Jiang (French Horn), Benjamin Martin (Piano)
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 

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