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Dennis Brain: A Life in Music [Hardcover]

Stephen J. Gamble , William C. Lynch

Price: CDN$ 32.94 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

April 28 2011 North Texas Lives of Musicians (Book 7)
The British horn player Dennis Brain (1921-1957) is commonly described by such statements as "the greatest horn player of the 20th Century," "a genius," and "a legend." He was both a prodigy and popularizer, famously performing a concerto on a garden hose in perfect pitch. On his usual concert instrument his tone was of unsurpassed beauty and clarity, complemented by a flawless technique. The recordings he made with Herbert von Karajan of Mozart's horn concerti are considered the definitive interpretations. Brain enlisted in the English armed forces during World War II for seven years, joining the National Symphony Orchestra in wartime in 1942. After the war he filled the principal horn positions in both the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He later formed his own wind quintet and began conducting. Composers including Benjamin Britten and Paul Hindemith lined up to write music for him. Even fifty years after his tragic death at the age of 36 in an auto accident in 1957, Peter Maxwell Davies was commissioned to write a piece in his honor.
Stephen Gamble and William Lynch have conducted numerous interviews with family, friends, and colleagues and uncovered information in the BBC archives and other lesser known sources about recordings that were previously unknown. This volume describes Brain's life and analyzes in depth his musical career. Its appendices of information on performances will appeal to music historians, and its details on Brain's instruments and equipment will be useful to horn players.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of North Texas Pr (April 28 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574413074
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574413076
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #978,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Composers such as Gordon Jacob, Malcolm Arnold, Matyas Seiber, York Bowen, Humphrey Searle, Benjamin Britten, and Paul Hindemith are some of the list of Brain admirers, writing horn concertos and chamber music for him. Francis Poulenc wrote 'Elegie" in memory of Dennis Brain. . . . This biography is an absolute must-read for anyone who loves the french horn."--"Uijlenspieghel"

About the Author

STEPHEN GAMBLE and WILLIAM LYNCH are both independent researchers who have been fascinated with Dennis Brain for decades. Lynch, an amateur horn player himself, is a semi-retired aerospace corporation executive with four U.S. patents to his name. Stephen Gamble is a British artist who started playing the horn in 2003.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A natural horn player Dec 14 2012
By Lewis T. Fitch - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a pretty exhaustive look at the music that Dennis Brain was involoved with, including works written for him, the reviews they got, and who he played them with. A comprehensive view of the top performing musicians of the early 1950's. It has very little to say about his personal life. The technical details about his horns, mouthpieces and embochure were interesting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DENNIS BRAIN: A LIFE IN MUSIC Dec 15 2013
By Nancy Morse - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase

5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis Brain: A Life in Music Oct. 18 2012
By Waldemir - Published on
An excellent read for any classical music aficionado. Substantial amount of research and material is different than the excellent Stephen Pettitt biography of Dennis Brain. I urge everyone who has enjoyed the Pettitt book to also purchase this book to amplify all known accounts of Mr. Brain's life.

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