Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Dennis Brain in Concert


Quintet for Piano and Winds, opus 16 (1)

Villanelle (2)

Le Basque (2)

Horn Quintet, K407 (3)

Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano, opus 40 (4)
Dennis Brain (horn)
Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble (1); Wilfird Parry (piano) (2); English String Quartet (3); Max Salpeter (violin), Cyril Preedy (piano) (4)
BBC Legends BBCL 4048-2 (72 minutes)

The BBC Legends series has certainly captured a legend on the top of his form in these splendid performances. Dennis Brain became a legendary artist while he was still in his twenties; alas he died at only 36. He was involved in a car accident, probably falling asleep at the wheel, having reached north London after driving home from an Edinburgh Festival concert.

Has the horn ever sounded better than this as a solo instrument? The rounded, warm tone, the untroubled accuracy were certainly at their height when the Beethoven, Dukas and Marais items were recorded at the Edinburgh Festival in 1957.

The Mozart and Brahms performances were BBC studio recordings made earlier that year. In both works Brain is magnificent, and in the Brahms the other artists at the top of their form too. The English String Quartet are not consistently polished in the Mozart, though their support is perfectly adequate. But the Brahms Trio is treated to a very special performance, and alone is worth the price of the disc. The sound is mono but it is clear and atmospheric.

Terry Barfoot

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers : - The UK's Biggest Video Store

Concert and Show tickets


Musicians accessories

Click here to visit

Return to Index