Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:


BEETHOVEN Horn Sonata, SCHUMANN Adagio and Allegro, STRAUSS Andante, HINDEMITH Horn Sonata, PAUL DUKAS Villanelle.    Thomas Crome (French Horn) Gunther Hauer (Piano)  MP3.COM RES-CD 004 - 38427 [53.27]

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We are treated to a big, lively sound here as if sitting close to the two soloists. The recording quality is fearlessly vivid: 'reach-out-and-touch' realism. Throughout, the pianism is mercurially tempered, quick and full of life. The horn playing goes for the big effect (though Crome is not short of subtlety either) and is played with no shadow of caution (note the fluff in 0.50 on track 5 - the Schumann Allegro). This is flamboyant playing often of thrilling character and with fine attention to the shading and terracing of dynamics. There is a lack of polish sometimes and a very slight inclination towards a mournful droopy vibrato but this can be forgiven easily enough in a player of such courage and artistic judgement.

The one rarity here is the Richard Strauss Andante (a gift to his father on his silver wedding). I do not recall any other recordings so this CD may well be of considerable value to Straussians.

Everything here is enjoyable; from the strangely staid jollity of the Hindemith to the unbuttoned ebullience of the Beethoven. The Villanelle is 'sung' with great poise. Good to have this Gallic piece (teetering on the edge of impressionism) amongst such Teutonic company!

The balance between horn and piano has been very well judged here. The two instruments must be the very devil to set in a satisfying acoustic.

You might recall a previous review of the Domus Wind Quintet on MP3.COM. Well some of the drawbacks of that disc have been addressed here. The major point is that notes are provided as part of the insert. Playing time is still somewhat short by CD standards.

The other problem they need to crack is the layout of the tracks. Currently they are laid out on the insert as if a single work. What we need is something like this instead. It is not difficult so why do they persist with this awkward layout. It is not as if they are dealing with a sequence of pop songs.

It should look something like this:-


1 Allegro moderato

2 Poco adagio

3 Rondo

SCHUMANN Adagio and Allegro

4 Adagio

5 Allegro

and so on ………

Nice to see classical music taking its place as a voice among the predominantly pop voices associated with MP3 and the MP3 players which are now such a characteristic of high street shops.


Rob Barnett


The CD is an enhanced CD, meaning that it contains a multimedia presentation that can be accessed on both a PC and a Mac.

The presentation includes full descriptive notes, which are also available in PDF format at

Of course, the CDs work in a normal CD player too.

The price of the new CD is $11.99 at

Background material about the artists is available at and

David Sedlock has prepared "What Every Classical Music Lover Needs to Know about MP3".


Rob Barnett

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