Notes and Editorial Reviews
Here is a dreamy concert if ever there was one, put together by Eric Ruske, who became the associate principal horn player for the Cleveland Orchestra when he was only 20.
Here is a dreamy concert if ever there was one, designed to flood your imagination with musical moonlight. The instrument entrusted with this assignment is the horn, and the program Is made up of pieces untarnished by frequent playing – indeed, some of them have seldom been played at all.
Two Strausses are represented – Franz, whose Nocturno immediately establishes a starry atmosphere in a meditative mood, and Richard Strauss, who so often favored the horn and composed two concertos for it. His Andante heard here is a haunting,
There is more moonlight in Alexander Glazunov’s Reverie. Camille Saint-Saens’ Morceau de Concert is a rarity by this French composer, who can be accused of superficiality but seldom of writing a boring measure.
Four pieces by Reinhold Gliere, the conservative Soviet composer who was among the few never to fall out of favor with the regime, are typical of his work in terms of melodic invention and are immediately appealing. There’s a nocturne, and intermezzo a valse triste in typical minor mode, and a romance.
Paul Dukas tore up most of his music because it didn’t meet his own exalted standards, and many people are acquainted with his music only through “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and possibly the ballet music for “La Peri.” The Villanelle on this program, composed in 1906, is as charming as anything he ever set down. This is a relatively familiar piece. When it comes to Prosper Van Eechaute, most of us are not only unfamiliar with the intensely romantic Nachtpoema heard on this program but have perhaps never even heard of this unjustly neglected Belgian composer.
That unabashed Romantic Robert Schumann didn’t write much for the horn, but his Adagio and Allegro pours romantic musical wine, most satisfying in its bouquet, into a formal classical decanter.
The hornist who put this program together is the young American Eric Ruske. The winner of the 1986 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Ruske made his debut at the 92nd Street Y in New York in 1987 and a year later found a welcome reception at the Kennedy Center in Washington. He became the associate principal horn player for the Cleveland Orchestra when he was only 20, and has gone on to concertize widely. After one concert, the Milwaukee Journal predicted that he would become “the world’s greatest hornist.” He would seem to be well on his way. Accompanying him is the seasoned pianist Anne Epperson, who heads the Instrumental Accompanying Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is a member of the faculty there.
-- Paul Kresh
Works on This Recording
Nachtpoema by Prosper Van Eechaute
Eric Ruske (French Horn),
Anne Epperson (Piano)
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