I hope you enjoyed last week’s piece of music, Zadok The Priest by Handel. You can find the link to last week’s blog post at the bottom of this page so you can find out more about the Ten Pieces initiative and last week’s piece too.
This week we are looking at a Cheesy Concerto – I hope you enjoy it!
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
Title: Horn Concerto No.4 in E flat Major - 3rd movement
Genre: Classical Concerto
Background: How many cheese sellers do you know? None? How about French horn-playing cheese sellers? No? Mozart knew one, and wrote his wonderful Fourth Horn Concerto for him. Joseph Leutgeb was the fellow’s name and, before he opened his cheese and sausage shop in 1777, he was also a brilliant horn player with the Salzburg court orchestra. But his instrument was quite unlike the French horns that you will normally see in orchestras today. For a start, it didn’t have any buttons to change the notes, or ‘valves’ as they’re known, so all the sounds had to be made just by tightening and loosening the lips and by putting the left hand into the end of the horn, called ‘the bell’. This cheerful piece sounds just like the call of a horn that huntsmen use to gather together the horses before they ride into the countryside. It wasn’t made from brass at first, though, but from a hollowed-out animal’s horn.
The Music Today: A comedy duo called Flanders and Swann have created a song using this music with words all about losing their French Horn. Have a listen to their hilarious song ‘Ill Wind’ on YouTube . The music was also used in the film ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ in 2009.
Things to do:
1. The main tune in this piece keeps coming round again and again. How many times can you spot it?
2. Mozart called this work a ‘Concerto’. See if you can find out what a concerto is.
3. How many brass instruments can you name? If you can think of more than four, you’re doing really well
4. At 1:20 the music changes from a ‘major’ to a ‘minor’ key. How does the mood of the music change?
5. Mozart started composing at the age of 4! Can you remember what you learnt to do aged 4?
If you have access to YouTube you can listed t the music here.