The first is from Doug Wagner who has a professional background in low brass, but now pursues the illusive horn tone with passion.
I think it was Barry Tuckwell that wrote that the F side is very inefficient in terms of the way the instrument is built. Somehow the physics of the instrument make it more difficult to create a centered tone that can be played without danger of splitting and chipping, BUT --- that's what gives the instrument its great sound. I'm working more and more on the F side because the sound is so much better in the low and middle ranges. In some cases, I play on the F side even into the higher register, because there is a subtle but very real difference in the tone quality. For many years, I wrote arrangements that featured the horn because I loved the sound so much. As a player, I'm constantly striving for that great horn sound. When I make it, it is such a thrill!
The horn is the greatest instrument ever. It stands to reason that it would be more difficult than all the others, otherwise anyone could play it. And even though I know I'll never be the master of it, the joy is in the pursuit. And every once in a while, it's just pure magic. When I create that gorgeous sound, even for a moment, it's what keeps me going.
Last Sunday [my two children] and I played an arrangement I wrote at a recital. What a great time we had! The piece was well received and we had fun. It was such a thrill to play with my kids! What fine young persons they are. My proud Poppa buttons were bursting! It was worth every agonizing minute I have spent wrestling with the horn, all the times of self doubt and discouragement just to be able to play competently along with my kids. There is a tremendous thrill at seeing my children grow into young adults and excel at something I have loved so much.
I let music go for a long time because I burned out. Now that I've re-kindled, it's even more fun. I'm listening to music again and finding more enjoyment than ever. What a marvelous thing to experience. I loved [my daughter's]answer when I asked her if she wanted to major in music. Her reply was, "What else would I do?"
The second quotation is from Larry Jellison, a retired engineer who returned to his childhood sweetheart, the horn, a little over 10 years ago.
Just checking horn playing on Youtube, came across this performance. ... I could guess the shape of the horn bell by listening. It is a medium belled horn. The recording is enhanced with some reverb. He is able to play high without becoming shrill. I admire this recording, because it focuses on what horn playing should be-- total beauty of the sound of the horn. I'm encouraged that one thing musicians like us can do is achieve an incredibly beautiful horn tone. I had just finished listening to Mason Jones on the Internet play Chabrier, using a large belled horn. Much
different sound, yet still total beauty. I think Mason played an 8D.
Articulation becomes different with a large belled horn, more difficult, but the
challenge is to find an articulation that stays true to the characteristics of the horn without sounding sluggish.