“Rescued!” celebrates the forgotten works of a group of 19th-century hornists and composers. The music included in this recording was composed between roughly 1860 and 1910 and are quality works aimed primarily at low horn players of the late 19th century who still used single F horns. In looking at the history and repertoire of the French horn at the time, it is clear that there was a split in writing style between works intended for low horn players who used the single F horn and those for high horn players who used shorter single Bb horns (the modern double horn in F/Bb not having been invented until 1897). The works most commonly played today from that time are idiomatic for the high horn player, but the works recorded here are all idiomatic for a low horn player on a single F horn, as they hardly go to the top of the staff and venture more freely into the low range. This recording is the product of months of dedicated preparation. The valved horn used, seen on the cover of the recording, was constructed specifically for this project by Richard Seraphinoff; the mouthpiece is a copy of a period mouthpiece by Moosewood. The difficulty level rises considerably on the single F horn compared to a modern double horn, and the tone of the F horn has a more raw quality in the upper range very much related to that of the natural horn. In fact it is, in many respects, more difficult to play than the natural horn as it is so prone to rough attacks in the upper register.
John Ericson currently serves as horn professor and brass area coordinator at Arizona State University. He was a member of the Nashville Symphony, has performed and taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Brevard Music Center, the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam), and Tunghai University in Taiwan, and has served on the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society. Pianist Yi-Wan Liao has performed as a soloist and collaborative artist on three continents.