Encore My Good Sir

Tony Way
The Age 'Green Guide' (Australia)

Having a ‘stiff upper lip’ takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to playing the horn. It can be a notoriously difficult instrument to control, as anyone who has attended a symphony concert can attest. Thankfully, there is nothing to fear in this recital, but a great deal to enjoy. Lin Jiang , a recent graduate of Melbourne University, presents a program of predominantly 20th century music that is as interesting as it is varied. To start, we are offered Schumann’s well known Adagio and Allegro. This short trip to the Romantic era is a perfect presentation of Jiang’s musical credentials: engaging tone, well-shaped phrasing and seemingly effortless traversal of the horn’s large range. These qualities also come to the fore in evocative but little-known works by Peter Maxwell Davies, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gunther Schuller and Otto Ketting. Poulenc’s Elegie written in memory of Dennis Brain, the brilliant young English hornist who died suddenly in 1957, deserves to be better known, as does Hindemith’s Alto Horn Sonata. Thaddeus Huang, Jiang’s fellow student, wrote the title piece, which provides an uplifting final flourish to a satisfying and well-presented disc. Benjamin Martin provides excellent support from the keyboard.