Four Corners! – Berlin Philharmonic Horn Quartet – Fontec Japan

Four Corners! – Berlin Philharmonic Horn Quartet – Fontec Japan, 76:43 ****:

One would expect a very accomplished album from four of the best hornists in the world, and one would not be disappointed. Of course, these sorts of releases are by nature rather restricted in appeal, mostly for those who play the instrument or for those looking for out of the way discs that stray from the norm. This one is a real cornucopia of different styles and sources, and I must say that the playing is nothing less than spectacular. The mix of nationalities that make up this renowned orchestral section is quite diverse, easily reflecting the international flavor of the Berlin Philharmonic today, far different from the mainstream Karajan years. But instrumental execution of this high a quality is always welcome no matter what the makeup, and I found the album to be engrossing, musically satisfying, humorous in places, and very entertaining. The sound is close but not claustrophobic, very gracious, and well-mannered. Recommended!

TrackList:

01 Best of the West – medley: High Noon, Rawhide, The Magnificent Seven and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly 
02 Ol’ Man River 
03 Besame Mucho 
04 El Condor Pasa 
05 Cornalera (Corralera) 
06 Aria Cantilena 
07 Farruca 
08 sous le Ciel de Paris 
09 Four Corners 
10 Anitra’s Dance 
11 Solveig’s Song 
12 In The Hall Of The Mountain King 
13 Pizzicato Polka 
14 Funiculi Funicula 
15 Nessun Dorma 
16 Kalinka 
17 The Lion Sleeps Tonight 
18 Wanton horn (Chinese Kitchen Dreams) 
19 Zui Zui Zukkorobashi 
20 Tokyo Subway or Polka: Nishi-Takashimadaira (syllables from the Yenseits) 
21 Waltzing Matilda 
22 Good evening, Good Night

—Steven Ritter

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