LAUDATIO by Bernhard Krol
INSTRUMENTATION: Unaccompanied Horn
PUBLISHER: 1966 N. Simrock, Hamburg
LENGTH: Relatively Unmeasured but 32 Measures are marked, approx. 5m15s
CAN BE FOUND ON IMSLP: No
YOUTUBE: Jeffrey Lang
SPOTIFY: Michelle Stebleton, Marathon
iTUNES: Radek Barborák, Invention
GRADE/DIFFICULTY (1 easy, 6 very difficult): 4
EXTENDED TECHNIQUES: Hand Stopping (+), Straight Mute
RANGE (horn pitch):
Bernhard Krol (1920 – 2013) is a Berlin born composer and horn player. Krol played with Staatskapelle Berlin (1945 – 1962), the Berlin Philharmoniker (1961 – 1962), and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra through 1967. Having been exposed to such a high level of brass playing has offered him a unique and colloquial perspective of writing for brass. His compositional language harkens back to the tonal system employed by Hindemith, having ignored the compositional prowess of Arnold Schoenberg and Krol’s own teacher, Josef Rufer – who happened to be a Schoenberg student.
Laudatio can be loosely translated as a posthumous Hymn of Praise. The gregorian chant, Te Deum Laudamus (We Praise Thee, Oh God) is at the heart of this composition. I find this piece to be an emotional journey through the trials and tribulation of death and reconciliation with God. The question of “Why?” is constantly asked throughout the composition through anger, sorrow, rage, and grief.
This is the most popular unaccompanied horn solo in the repertoire. It is asked on most competitions and the occasional audition. As in any other work you wish to perform, Laudatio requires a plan. Be sure to set out what it is you hope your story to convey. The piece allows (almost requires) you to become very personal.