Orchestral Excerpts and Horn Parts (complete)


(see also Auditioning, Audition Repertoire Lists, and Opera)

Brass Excerpts - A wonderful website for all the brasses. It contains not only the horn parts of famous excerpts but also the orchestral score, wondrous to say, and all downloadable. Nobel prize! You can download the whole package of "Lexcerpts" in pdf form. But wait, there's more! There is also "Horn Solos", which offers recordings of many horn solos from the central repertoire, from Alla Caccia to Wilder Sonata No. 3. There are also etude recordings: Gallay's entire Op. 57 12 etudes (Jeff Snedeker!), and all 40 Kling Characteristic etudes (Stephen Hager). Not done: there also recordings of chamber music, like the Malcolm Arnold Brass Quintet No. 1 (whole thing by 4 different quintets) and the Ewald BQ No. 1 (4 groups). Still not done: one more thing: There is a downloadable set of scales and arpeggios - in 4 formats, no less: MIDI, MusceScore, MXL, and pdf. These are not just your basic vanilla scales: there are all kinds: bebop scales, Dorian, jazz minor, Locrian, Lydian, Octatonic, and many more. Really, folks: our cornucopia runneth over with this website. Go - what are you waiting for??

Horn Probespiel [= horn audition] - It’s in German, but don’t let that stop you. This is an amazing site - hat’s off to Hasko Kröger for putting it together! The home page is very simple. On the right side of the main text block are 4 choices: Probespiel Orchesterstellen [orchestral excerpts], Unterricht/Probespielvorbereitung [lessons/audition preparation given by Herr Kröger], Musik [recordings by H.K. ], and Stellenmarkt [ads]. The one of most interest to the most people is the first. Click on it and it brings up High Horn Excerpts, Low Horn Excerpts, and excerpts for 2 horns. There are long lists of excerpts under each category; click an individual excerpt and it brings up a neat computer notation printout of the excerpt, all apparently done by Herrn Kröger - a gigantic labor of love - and of great utility to all of us! You will find a much larger selection of excerpts here than are readily available in the US - some of these are just hard to find; others are excerpts that are more popular in the opera houses of Germany but not so much in the US (e.g. Lortzing and other operas). [thanks to Nick Westphal for alerting me to the existence of this web site].

Orchestral Horn Excerpts
This terrific and indispensable collection of orchestra excerpts started life as (UI horn studio alumnus) Daren Robbins’ doctoral thesis (at U of Wisconsin-Madision). It is worth its weight in gold for making access to the excerpts exceptionally quick easy. Features: 46 excerpts (from Brandenburg to Oberon), printed (and printable!) excerpts, 4 recorded versions (including with period instruments) of various interpretations that you can hear online. Bravo, Daren! Update: 1) The site has been moved to be part of the web site of the International Horn Society 2) All these excerpts are now available in a 160 page spiral-bound book ($30). 3) A link to a listing of upcoming auditions is included. 4) Julia Rose’s “Audition Repertoire Lists” has been added.

MUSIAC - a collaborative digital initiative between the New World Symphony, Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester), Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), Manhattan School of Music, Royal Danish Academy of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and University of Southern California—is an online community of classical musicians and continuously updated video library curated by America’s Orchestral Academy. Just as teachers have traditionally passed down knowledge to their students, MUSAIC provides access to classical music instruction and conversations for students and performers alike.” Video tips, orchestral and chamber music performances, and masterclasses for horn players by such horn luminaries as Peter Kurau, Kristy Merrill, Robert Ward, Sarah Willis, David Pyatt, Bill VerMeulen, Rick Todd, and others.

Top Ten Orchestral Works for Horn - by John Ericson

Orchestra Excerpt CDs - by John Ericson

Speed lessons - Eastman School of Music sells online recorded video “lessons” on orchestral excerpts for a number instruments, including some for horn - by Peter Kurau.

Audition excerpts - English translation of German web site (Probespiel); a collection of operatic and orchestral excerpts for both high and low horn, plus suggestions on auditioning. The parts are very clear, printable, not original orchestral part. Contains excerpts not common or available in the US or US auditions. Tip of the hat to H. Kröger.

Everynote.com - great attitude & energy (widespread dissemination of classical music, cheap prices), clumsy interface. Boasts 20,000 scores from 1000+ composers. You can get score and parts (pdf downloads) for a nominal fee. For example, the first horn part to Beethoven's Sym. No. 7 is $3.49. To access the page for horn parts to orchestral works, click here. The site is difficult to browse (by instrument unless you're a piano, violin, cello, flute, or classical guitar); it desperately needs a site map.

The Orchestra Musician’s CD-ROM Library
12 volumes. Complete orchestra horn parts for many, many symphonic works, for $19.95 for each CD. Print them out as you need them from pdf files. A great way to keep a huge collection and a great bargain. Distributed by Hal Leonard. New: This company is now making the orchestral parts available online at Librarymusicsource.com. You register and pay for the level of downloads you want, from the "Individual Starter Plan" (5 downloads/month - $10.95 one-time) to the Basic Plan (10/$15.95), Silver (100/$79.95), Gold ($300/$149.95). There are also other plans: Public Library, Educational, Music School, and Demo (5 free downloads). Note that much of this is available for free at imslp.org.
Vol. 1 - Beethoven, Schubert, Bellini, Berlioz, Cherubini, Donizetti, Mendelssohn, Rossini, von Weber
Vol 2 - Debussy, Mahler, Bizet, Bruch, Bruckner, Busoni, Fauré, Grieg, Reger, Saint-Saens
Vol, 3 - Brahms, Schumann, Chabrier, Chausson, Chopin, Franck, Lalo, Liszt, Offenbach, Sarasate, von Suppé
Vol, 4 - Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Mussorgsky, Scriabin, Smetana
Vol. 5 - Dvorak, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin,
Vol. 6 - Mozart, Haydn
Vol. 7 - Ravel, Elgar, Chadwick, Delius, D'Indy, Dukas, Griffes, Holst, Nielsen
Vol. 8 - Stravinsky, Bartok, Carpenter, Dohnanyi, Enesco, Falla, Glazunov, Janacek, Milhaud, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Respighi, Vaughn Williams
Vol. 9 - Strauss, Sibelius, Bloch, Schoenberg, Webern
Vol. 10 - Arne, Bach, Boccherini, Cimarosa, Gluck, Handel, Hérold, Lully, Méhul, Pasiello, Rameau
Vol. 11 - Wagner, Part I - orchestral works and early operas, including Siegfried Idyll, Der Fliegende Hollander, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde
Vol. 12 - Wagner, Part II - Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Parsifal

The Orchestral Audition Repertoire for Horn
David Thompson has put together a 'huge tome' of over 1000 pages of reprints of original orchestral parts, drawn from the most likely audition excerpts, including such "hard-to-find gems... as the Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No. 1 and the Siegfried "Long Call" ". A must for any serious student.

Mel Bay's Anthology of French Horn Music - badly named book, but well-done (annotated!!) orchestral excerpt book by Richard Moore. If you're only going to get one excerpt book, this is the one to get - all meat and no filler.

Horn Player's Audition Handbook by Arthur LaBar. Similar content to Moore's book, but no annotations. On the other hand, it has what Moore's lacks: excerpts from works by Strauss, Stravinsky, and Wagner.

Horn Excerpt Checklist - list of standard audition excerpts by John Ericson

Konstantin Becker - recorded excerpts: Siegfried Long Call (obviously live, unedited), Beethoven 9 (4th hn), Fidelio ("Abscheulicher" aria), Dvorak New World Sym., Freischütz Overture, Till Eulenspiegel, Alpensinfonie, Sinfonia Domestica, Bruckner Sym. 4, Ravel - Daphnis et Chloé, Haydn Concerto No. 1, Strauss Hn Concerto No. 2 (all). Be patient; it takes a few seconds for them to load, and there is Quicktime (or other) screen to "see" the progress (streaming mp3). There are also two video examples of music (excerpts) from Der Freischütz and Also Sprach Zarathustra (don't know how he did this: it is a musician's eye view of the conductor, complete with balding head of violinist head directly in front of the camera. Konstantin Becker is principal horn of the Gran Teatro la Fenice

A Horn Player's Guide to Orchestral Excerpts
By Linda Anne Farr. An annotated bibliography and index by composer to some 900 excerpts show in which of 54 excerpts books published between 1940 and 1978 an excerpt can be found. Dated, but useful.

Horns in Haydn Symphonies
A listing of how many horns in what key in all of F.J. Haydn's symphonies.

Orchestral Excerpts for Horn - CD - demos plus commentary by David Krehbiel on a number of standard orchestral solos

Eroica - a series of blog articles by Jonathan West about Beethoven's 3rd Symphony: Interpreting the Eroica Symphony, First Movement, 2nd Movement, 3rd Movement, last movement.

Bibliography of Reference Materials on Auditioning by Jeffrey Agrell
Written in 2001, but still contains a lot of useful information as a bibliography of articles and videos on auditioning and orchestral excerpts.

Orchestral excerpts - a list of standard excerpts that you can edit on Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collections.

Symphony Orchestra Library Center - links to many related topics, including online music journals, organizations, music & instrument reference, music supplies & accessories, publishers & agencies, copyright & licensing, performing rights societies, music education, music libraries & research centers, lists, sources of sheet music, composers, music reference, academic music resources, dictionaries & reference, music services, audition lists and a lot more. Heckuva site.

ORR - Orchestra Repertoire Reports. The League of American Orchestras has since 2001 released a report on the classical works performed by League member orchestras each year, listed by composer and composer's works, also including name of the orchestra, conductor, soloist, dates of performance. Each ORR includes a list of the top ten most frequently performed works, soloists, composers, etc. Click here for the 2007-08 detailed repertoire report (the latest). If you might be interested in a career in orchestra management, click here.

Major Orchestra Librarian's Association

World Wide Orchestra Links

Horn Rep (hornrep.com) Horn Excerpts for Wind Band Repertoire. Limited number of composers represented (12), but band excerpts are not always easy to find, and this does us that service.

Armer, Shannon L., The Most Common Excerpts for the Horn: a Discussion Performance Practice, Masters Thesis, University of Pretoria, 2006


Till Eulenspiegel - the opening call and other spots discussed and demonstrated by Gregory Cass, principal horn of the Suisse Romande. For an excerpt of the piece near the end, listen/watch this video recording of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. Here is an old black and white video of the beginning of Till as conducted by Wilhelm Furtwangler; the last part of this performance is here. Or listen to him rehearse it. Compare it to a rehearsal by Celibidache, who shouts instructions as they go (in German, with English subtitles).

The opening of R. Strauss's Ein Heldenleben played by the Berlin Philharmonic in this YouTube video. Gregory Cass of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande will give you a video lesson on the opening solo of Heldenleben here. Alan Gilbert discusses it [YouTube video] here.

Beethoven - 3rd Sym. - Scherzo trio (3 horns) - Orchestra of the 18th Century (natural horns); the same on valve horns (Berlin Phil.)

Beethoven - 6th Symphony - 1st horn solo - Berlin Philharmonic [YouTube video]

Beethoven - 8th Symphony - 3rd Mvt (Hn 1&2 solo) - Berlin Philharmonic

Brahms - 2nd Sym. - Wolfgang Tomböck plays the B natural solo with the Vienna Philharmonic

Brahm 3rd Symphony, 3rd mvt, 1st horn solo by Gerd Seifert (Berlin Philharmonic - von Karajan) [YouTube video]

Mahler - Sym. No. 1 - 1st mvt - 2 horns solo - Wiener Philharmoniker [YouTube video] (Vienna horns)

Mahler - Sym. No. 1 - section solo; the same in Vienna

Mahler - Sym. No. 4 - horn solo - Concertgebouworkest

Mahler - Sym. No. 5 - corno obbligato solo - Berlin Philharmonic [YouTube video]

Mahler - Sym. No. 9 - Concertgebouw Orchestra (J. Slagter, hn) [YouTube video]

Mozart - 40th Sym. - 2 horn solo - New Philharmonia

Shostakovich 5th Symphony - 1st horn solo (NY Phil - Bernstein) [YouTube video]

Ravel - Bolero - horn solo - Berlin Philharmonic [YouTube video] 8' 25"

Ravel - Piano Concerto in G - horn solo (Michel Cantin); same, with Nigel Black; Gregory Cass's discussion/demo of this excerpt.

Rimsky-Korsakov - Sheherezade horn solo - Stuttgart Philharmonic [YouTube video]

R. Strauss -
Till Eulenspiegel - opening call - conducted by Furtwangler

Tchaikovsky - 5th Symphony - Andante cantabile - performed by Dennis Brain [still photos over the recording; YouTube video]. The same, by Stefan Dohr.

How Not to Play Tchaik 5 - crude audience-made video of Prof. I.M. Gestopftmischeist's on stage demonstration at the 2008 Denver IHS Workshop. [YouTube]

A young
Alan Civil plays the horn solo from the Finale of Firebird (with Stravinsky conducting!) - with his single Bb horn. [YouTube]. Listen to Stefan Dohr of the Berlin Philharmonic (Simon Rattle conducting) play the same thing. And also by Norbert Hauptmann of the same orchestra (Seji Ozawa).