Richard Strauss · Franz Strauss · Franz Lachner · Robert Schumann · Karl Pilss
Louis-Philippe Marsolais, French horn · David Jalbert, piano
Winner of three Prizes at the prestigious Munich ARD International Music Competition
(Germany) in September 2005, young Canadian horn-player Louis-Philippe Marsolais was also an award-winner in other major competitions, including Geneva (Switzerland), Rovereto (Italy) and Trévoux (France).
After filling important positions in the Kitchener-
Waterloo Symphony and the Québec
City Symphony Orchestra, Louis-Philippe Marsolais is now a sought-after soloist and chamber music performer.
His success on the national and international
scenes has brought him to perform in North America, Europe and Asia.
Over the past years, several of his concerts and recitals have been broadcast by Radio-Canada/
Espace Musique, CBC, la Radio de la Suisse Romande and the Bayerischer Rundfunk.
Louis-Philippe Marsolais is now a member and the artistic director of the Montreal-based ensemble Pentaèdre Wind Quintet.
Pianist David Jalbert is one of the most firebrand talents of the new generation. With his personal style, incomparable stage presence and refined ear, he has convinced audiences and critics everywhere in North America: “a deeply musical pianist” (Cleveland
Plain Dealer), “an important talent” (The Montreal Gazette), Jalbert “dazzles with skill, style and taste… with all the exuberance and finesse a listener could want” (The Toronto Star). His first solo disc, dedicated to the works of Corigliano and Rzewski, was launched to great applause on Endeavour, a new branch of the American label Allegro in 2004. In 2002, he also recorded with his long-standing musical
partner Denise Djokic a CD of cello and piano music for Sony Classical. Along with her and violinist Jasper Wood, David Jalbert now forms Triple Forte, a dynamic trio with a bright future. Other collaborations have included the Quatuor Alcan as well as pianists Anton Kuerti and Naida Cole.
David Jalbert has been a guest soloist with many great orchestras, such as the Montreal Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the National Symphony of Ireland,
and has collaborated with conductors like Skitch Henderson, Bramwell Tovey, Yannick
Nézet-Séguin, Jacques Lacombe, Marc David, Dmitry Liss and Mario Bernardi. He has performed in Canada, the United States, Mexico
and Europe; his repertoire stretches from the Bach concertos to Martinu°’s, and from the sonatas of Mozart to those of Stravinski and Antheil. Mr. Jalbert’s interests in literature, cinema, rock ‘n’ roll and blues shine through his musical selections, which can be heard regularly on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada broadcasts.
David Jalbert holds two “Artist Diplomas”; one from the Juilliard School in New York, the other from the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto. He received his Masters Degree from the Université de Montréal at age 21, along with the Gold Medal of the Governor
General for the highest results of all of the University’s graduate students. His main teachers have been Jerome Lowenthal, Marc Durand, André Laplante et Pauline Charron. He has also worked with Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Claude Frank, Gilbert Kalish and Marylin
Immerse yourself in a world
of romantic sound
It sounds like a tall story, but it’s true: during a rehearsal in February 1883, when Hermann Levi informed the Munich Court Orchestra of Richard Wagner’s sudden death from heart failure,
all of the musicians stood up in his honour – only Franz Strauss (1822–1905), the first horn, demonstratively remained seated. The father of a professed Wagnerian and composer who was to become world-famous viewed the musical
world of the maestro from Bayreuth with incomprehension throughout his life. Nevertheless,
it was a matter of honour for him always to play his horn part as perfectly as possible – although
with inner reluctance – which gave rise to Wagner’s legendary remark: “This Strauss is an obnoxious chap, but when he plays, it’s impossible to be angry with him.” The young Richard Strauss (1864–1949) must have grown up immersed in the sound of the horn, which his father practised industriously at home; this was later borne out by passages of exquisite beauty in his tone poems and operas as well as by individual
chamber works such as the Andante for Horn and Piano recorded here.
However, it is unfortunately far too little known that Franz Strauss, as musical director of the amateur orchestra “Die wilde Gung’l” (with whom his son Richard made his first steps as a composer and conductor and which is incidentally still in existence today!), was himself also a composer. His concert pieces for horn and piano accompaniment are still of interest to today’s virtuosi. The sound of this instrument is heard in all its beauty – for example in the Notturno op. 7 in D flat major. In general, Franz Strauss preferred “deep” keys, i.e. keys which came closest to realizing his idea of sonorous sound. Moreover, he seems to have liked sets of variations, as in op. 13, another genre which depends on the player’s instrumental capabilities. Louis-Philippe Marsolais’
recording of the two horn pieces from Franz Strauss’ pen is therefore not least a tribute
to a “father” who, as a well-established professor at the Royal Music School in Munich,
became the teacher of a considerable number of well-known horn players.
Franz Lachner (1803–1890) was another one of the circle of determined Wagner opponents.
Until the poet and composer’s arrival in the Bavarian royal seat, Lachner had a fixed place in its musical life; he was conductor of the court opera, directed the Königliche Vokalkapelle (Royal Voice Choir), and in 1852 was decorated with the title of General Music Director, at that time “an honorary title which was previously not customary in Bavaria”. After
Ludwig II summoned Wagner to Munich, irreconcilable artistic differences between the two composers caused Lachner’s gradual retirement from 1865. As a composer, Lachner drew on Beethoven and Schubert as models (he was a close friend of Schubert’s until the latter’s death). Approximately 190 of his works were published. The Variations on a Swiss Folksong can be seen as the epitome of the romantic
thought and feeling of a musician who has today been – unjustly – largely forgotten.
Pure romanticism also from Robert Schumann
(1810–1856): the composer always rejected
mere description and illustration, his works are allegories of the poetic ideas on which they are based. Op. 70 opens with an expressive song. Horn and piano enter into an intimate dialogue in which both instruments are placed on an absolutely equal footing. The same applies to the swift, fiery Allegro in free rondo form, whose theme with its tremolo seems to have been specifically created for the horn.
Finally, ARD prize winner Louis-Philippe Marsolais grants a rare insight into the compositional
oeuvre of Karl Pilss (1902–1979). As well as spending decades as the principal rehearsal pianist of the Viennese State Opera, he was much in demand as a song accompanist,
harpsichordist, choir director and repetitor
of various renowned choral societies. As the director of studies at the Salzburg Festival, he was responsible for memorable productions
with great conductors such as Toscanini, Walter, Knappertsbusch, Furtwängler, Böhm and Karajan. Influenced by the predominantly classical and romantic musical tradition of his native city Vienna, Pilss composed numerous works – particularly for brass – oriented on the style of the 19th century. A late heir to romanticism,
as it were.
Translation: ar-pege translations