All of you horn players will undoubtedly be familiar with this Strauss masterpiece. But it is rare that you actually get a chance to play it in orchestra. Now you can just gather nine other hornists (and perhaps a conductor) and play this wonderful music any time you desire. This transcription contains every measure of the original tone poem.
Tempos may sometimes need to be slightly slower than those traditionally taken by orchestras; remember, we play horns, not violins. Due to the complex rhythms, using a conductor is recommended, at least until all the players learn how the parts fit together. The odd-numbered horn parts generally play high and the even ones low, though a wide range can be found in most of the parts. The use of mutes is essential as they give varying tone colors, help with balance, and occasionally allow for “safer” high notes.
Performance suggestions: Though not marked, the tempo should relax from rehearsal number 6 to the fifth bar of number 9. During the first eight bars of number 27, the third horn should take plenty of time. In the four bars before number 38, the fifth horn may use flutter tongue if it helps this note sound more like a drum roll. While all the horn parts have difficult sections, some of the hardest ensemble passages are at number 7 (for six bars), number 11 (for two bars), getting into number 17, and the seventh bar of number 23 to 24. It may be prudent to rehearse these passages prior to reading through the piece. I hope you enjoy playing this transcription.
Richard Goldfaden currently is a member of the Horn section of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he held positions in the Toledo Symphony Orchestra as well as several orchestras in Mexico City. For several years, he taught horn at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan in 1978. He studied horn with Louis Stout and Eugene Wade.
Mr. Goldfaden is also a natural horn enthusiast. In this capacity, he was awarded Second Prize in the 1979 Heldenleben Horn Competition, Hand Horn division, and received the Award for Outstanding Musicianship from the Detroit Waldhorn Society. His instructor in the art of natural horn playing was Lowell Greer.
While in junior high school, Richard Goldfaden began composing brass quartets he could play with his friends. He continued writing numerous compositions and arrangements for various gatherings of musicians. Understandably, most of his works feature the horn. His music is often light hearted and usually traditional in its harmonies. His goal is to make every part interesting and fun to play, though this often makes them challenging. He has transcribed numerous orchestral masterpieces for large horn ensembles.