Recital three: Hector McDonald
Associate Artist Meriel Owen
KROL: Laudatio for solo Horn
BEETHOVEN: Sonata for Piano and Horn in F major, op.17
DUKAS: Villanelle for Horn and Piano
MESSIAEN: Appel Interstellaire, from Des canyons aux ètoiles
STRAUSS: Nocturno for Horn and Harp, op.7
Hector McDonald returns to the Llewellyn Hall for the first time in almost 30 years, as soloist in the ActewAGL Llewellyn Series, and featured performer for the Recital Series.
He has been Principal Horn with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Concentus Musicus Wien since 1989, and has spent over 54 years playing brass instruments. His playing and teaching has influenced horn players in Australia and around the world, including those he worked with during his time at the ANU School of Music in the 1980s.
This program offers listeners a real treat, as Hector will play natural horn—the antecedent of the instrument we know today. The natural horn has no valves so players need to work harder when it comes to note placements and articulations. This means the audience will hear the pieces as the composers intended. This program offers a fascinating window into our musical past.
“Playing a brass instrument is a special feeling. It requires a combination of air (breath), lip tension (so-called buzzing) and being able to hear the note before you start. It’s always a small miracle when the right notes come out at the right time. And I guess that’s both the challenge and the attraction. You never really know what’s going to emit from the bell of your instrument.”