October 22, 2020
I've put together this playlist as a sampling of some of my favourite recordings and different types of music that I listen to. It's so hard to choose but this is music I love for some special reasons. The first thing I've chosen is Mahler 2. It's a long and epic symphony full of incredible horn moments. I was lucky to play this piece with the McGill Orchestra when I was a student at McGill University. I remember that so vividly; it is such a powerful thing to be a part of, especially as a student. I played second horn and the principal was my dear friend Dave Haskins. He went on to win a job with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra shortly after, so we are still orchestra neighbours! That student recording exists on YouTube somewhere. I've seen it! It's not half bad. The recording here is my personal favourite. I love the Lucerne Festival Orchestra so much. Everyone, even the inner voices, play like they are a soloist, and the recording is so exciting.
Next, I put a few folk and country songs. Since I've been in Edmonton, I have slowly, slowly become a fan of country music. I love attending Edmonton Folk Fest and missed it very much this year. The 100 Mile house is a group I heard at folk fest a few years ago and I bought their album. It's a great way to learn new artists and there are so many Canadian and local groups. I listen to CISN Country in the car all the time for my dose of pop-country. It's cheerful and puts me in a good mood!
When I was a student at McGill university, I took a class covering the History of Jazz. I bought an album to help me study called Essential Jazz Masters. I think it cost $19.99. It's been the best purchase of my life! It has 183 tracks and every single one is a total gem and I would happily include it in this list. I've played this album at every party I host and sometimes even when I'm a guest and their music is bad. Ha!
Lastly, I have included some less well known and more modern classical composers who I really enjoy. The Hamburg Concerto was written in 1999 and features solo horn, string orchestra, percussion, four natural horns, and two basset horns. This piece is totally on my bucket list; I would LOVE to play it someday. I secretly bought the music recently and plan to start to learn it. Don't tell anyone! It's very sonically interesting - it calls for all the horn players to use the natural harmonic series without pitch adjustment. That means that many notes sound traditionally "out of tune" to our ears but also strangely mellow and pure rather than dissonant. That's because the notes are naturally occurring in the harmonic series, so their waves don't clash with the others even though they are still dissonant intervals.
- Megan Evans, ESO Assistant Principal