On Monday there will be a special concert featuring members of the Chicago Symphony to celebrate the long and memorable career of one of the greatest horn players of his generation: Dale Clevenger. Clevenger has been principal horn of the CSO for 47 years and will officially retire at the end of June. The concert event is no longer open to the general public but only to friends and other guests who registered online by May 27. The highlight will undoubtedly be the "mass horn choir" performance of the adagietto from Mahler 5 in an arrangements for horns only!
As a prelude to that rather private celebration, we are all invited to a special "horn hangout" hosted by Sarah Willis. This event will be streamed live at 2:00 EST from her website. Willis will take questions, memories, and tributes from the live chat. Don't miss this opportunity to celebrate the career of the player with one of the most readily identifiable and distinctive horn sounds in the history of classical recordings.
Arguably, the best introduction to his sound as a soloist can be heard on "The Chicago Principal; First Chair Soloists Play Famous Concertos," where Clevenger performed as soloist in the Mozart Horn Concerto No. 3, and in ensemble in the Schumann Konzertstück and the Britten Serenade. This classic Deutsche Grammophon double disc (released in 2003) was selected from performances recorded between 1976 and 1983.
The Chicago horn sound in Mahler symphonies during the Solti years was centered by Clevenger. That fact alone is reason for celebration! I will be tuning in to the Willis Horn Hangout on Monday.