Dennis Brain: A Life in Music
University of North Texas Press, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 384 pages
The British horn player Dennis Brain (1921–1957) is commonly described by such statements as “the greatest horn player of the 20th Century,” "a genius,” and "a legend." He was both a prodigy and popularizer, famously performing a concerto on a garden hose in perfect pitch. On his usual concert instrument his tone was of unsurpassed beauty and clarity, complemented by a flawless technique. The recordings he made with Herbert von Karajan of Mozart's horn concerti are considered the definitive interpretations.Brain enlisted in the English armed forces during World War II for seven years, joining the National Symphony Orchestra in wartime in 1942. After the war he filled the principal horn positions in both the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He later formed his own wind quintet and began conducting. Composers including Benjamin Britten and Paul Hindemith lined up to write music for him. Even fifty years after his tragic death at the age of 36 in an auto accident in 1957, Peter Maxwell Davies was commissioned to write a piece in his honor.
Stephen Gamble and William Lynch have conducted numerous interviews with family, friends, and colleagues and uncovered information in the BBC archives and other lesser known sources about recordings that were previously unknown. This volume describes Brain's life and analyzes in depth his musical career. Its appendices of information on performances will appeal to music historians, and its details on Brain's instruments and equipment will be useful to horn players.
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Chapter 3 The Brain Quintet and Ensemble
Chapter 4 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Chapter 5 Philharmonia Orchestra
Chapter 6 A Horn Virtuosos Letters
Chapter 7 Teacher and Lecturer
Chapter 8 Reminiscences by Colleagues
Appendix A Brain Ensemble Music Library
Appendix B The Early Horn
Appendix C Talking About the Horn
Appendix D Articles
Appendix E Extended Bibliography
Other editions - View all
Alan Civil April Artists File Aubrey Brain August bassoon BBC radio BBC radio program Beethoven Brahms Brain Dennis Brain played Brain Wind Ensemble British Library Sound broadcast Brymer clarinet collection Columbia 33CX composer Concerto for Horn Cond conducted conductor December Dennis Brain Dennis Brain Wind Dennis’s Discography Divertimento E-flat EMI Classics February flute Gareth Morris Gramophone Haydn Hindemith Home Service horn and piano Horn and Strings Horn Concerto horn player instrument interview with Gamble James July Karajan Leonard Brain letter from Brain Library Sound Archive listing in Radio March Marshall mouthpiece movement Mozart Mozart Concerto musicians Norman Del Mar November oboe October performance permission Pettitt Philharmonia Orchestra Poulenc Quartet radio program listing Raoux recording rehearsal Royal Festival Hall Royal Philharmonic Orchestra September Serenade soloist Sonata Strauss Symphony Orchestra Testament SBT Third Programme tour Trio valve Violin WAC RCONT1 Wigmore Hall Wind Quintet written