BAGATELLE FOR HORN LOW AND PIANO by Hermann Neuling
INSTRUMENTATION: Horn and Piano
PUBLISHER: 1956, Pro musica Verlag Leipzig
LENGTH: 119 measures, approx. 5m20s
CAN BE FOUND ON IMSLP: No
YOUTUBE: Jesse McCormick
OTHER RECORDING: Hasko Kröger
GRADE/DIFFICULTY (1 easy, 6 very difficult): 4.5
EXTENDED TECHNIQUES: Trills
RANGE (horn pitch)*:
*Old Notation Bass Clef
Hermann Neuling (1897 – 1967) was a low horn player for the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. He later joined the orchestra of the Berlin State Opera and taught at the Izmir State Conservatory. He was also a member of the Bayreuth Wagner Festival orchestra from 1931 – 1964. Although an active performer he is considered an obscure early twentieth century composer who has very little impact outside the horn world. He wrote four studies/etude books, a cadenza to Mozart Concerto K. 447, and a Horn Concerto which did not survive the WWII bombing of Berlin.
The Bagatelle became a low horn audition standard after it was asked for the open second horn position with the Berlin Philharmonic in the mid 1980’s. The distinction of the Bagatelle lies in its utilization of the extreme low register of the horn and bringing that tessitura into the common nomenclature expected by modern horn players of today. While the horn athletically flourishes throughout with dazzling passages the piano part seems to suffer from an identity crisis by imitating early silent film soundtracks then abruptly changing character to fit in with the horn. This piece is exciting, unexpected, and always keeps you on your toes. Be sure to listen to Jesse McCormick’s recording and also this wonderful recording by German hornist, Hasko Kröger.