1964-65

In 1964 and 1965, Wendell (Pete) Exline took a sabbatical leave from his position at what is now Eastern Washington University. He flew to Frankfurt, Germany, bought a VW bus and drove all over Europe, interviewing, recording and photographing principal horn players of several European orchestras. Pete's account of his trip can be found here. In 2009, Pete gave all of the the audio tapes, photographic negatives and interview notes he collected to the IHS. Data from that sabbatical project, now digitzed, is the basis for the first "Survey of European Horn Playing Styles" presented here. Each player was photographed four times, playing the horn from both front and back and buzzing on an embouchure visualizer ring. They then each recorded five standard orchestral excerpts:

Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 5, Mvt. II, meas. 8-28
Brahms, Symphony No. 1, Mvt. II, meas. 90-105
Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel, meas. 6-20
Rossini: Barber of Seville Overture, meas. 103-111
Ravel: Pavane pour une infante defunte, meas. 1-11

Subjects in the first study included:
tuckwell playing small
Barry Tuckwell, age 34
Principal, London Symphony

Roland Berger, Vienna Philharmonic/Vienna State Opera
Giuseppe Bianchini, Orchestra of the Pitti Palace, Florence
Domenico Ceccarossi, RAI Orchestra, Rome
Alan Civil, New Philharmonia
Heinrich Keller, Hamburg State Opera
Erich Penzel, West German Radio Symphony, Cologne
*Valeriy Polekh, Bolshoi Theater Orchestra, Moscow
Kurt Richter, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Munich
Lucien Thévet, Paris Opera
Barry Tuckwell, London Symphony
Adriaan van Woudenberg, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

*No recordings were made – Pete's tape recorder was confiscated at the Soviet border and returned to him when he left the country

Go to the recordings

Read Pete's account of his trip.


2010

Between October 19 and November 21, 2010, twelve subjects, representing 12 orchestras in 8 countries, were interviewed, recorded (including video), and photographed, playing the same five orchestral excerpts that were included in the 1965 study.

Biographical information and still photos of the participants are available at these links:

joebstl playing small
Thomas Jöbstl, age 31
Principal, Vienna Philharmonic

André Cazalet, Orchestre de Paris
Jean-Pierre Dassonville, Orchestra de la Theatre Royal de La Monnaie, Brussels
Jasper de Waal, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam
Andrew Joy, West German Radio Symphony, Cologne
Thomas Jöbstl, Vienna Philharmonic/Vienna State Opera
David Pyatt, London Symphony Orchestra
Matthieu Romand l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Paris
Corrado Saglietti RAI Orchestra, Turin
Danilo Stagni, Teatro alla Scala Orchestra, Milan
Eric Terwilliger, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Munich
Tim Thorpe, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Cardiff
Ondřej Vrabec, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague


Video

This work was supported in full or in part by a grant from The University of Memphis Faculty Research Grant Fund.
This support does not necessarily imply endorsement by the University of research conclusions.