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CD Release: Cornucopia II

German Music for natural horn and strings

The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce the release of Cornucopia II, the second CD by the group Cornucopia that features natural horn player and IU horn professor Richard Seraphinoff. The ensemble includes IU alumnus Cynthia Roberts, violin (student of Stanley Ritchie and Josef Gingold); Rachel Evans, violin and viola; David Miller, viola; and Allen Whear, cello. All are prominent performers in the period-instrument field.

Cornucopia II features works centered around the Quintet K.407 of Mozart, one of the most important chamber works in the repertoire for horn. Other late 18th-century German works include Michael Haydn's Romance in A-Flat Major, based on a theme from Mozart's third horn concerto, and quartets by Carl Stamitz, horn virtuoso Giovanni Punto, and his student Johann Andreas Amon. The first Cornucopia CD (1997) focused on 19th-century French repertoire for natural horn and strings, including the first recordings on period instruments of quintets by Anton Reicha, Louis-Francois Dauprat, and Frederic Duvernoy.

The repertoire of Cornucopia II represents the natural horn's emergence as a solo instrument in the second half of the 18th century and the full development of its playing technique from the early 18th-century hunting horn to the sophisticated chromatic solo instrument of Mozart, Haydn, and others at the end of the century.

"For me, the two CD projects have been particularly interesting and satisfying," said Seraphinoff. "It gives me great pleasure to work with some of the finest performers in the period string world. We worked so well together and think so much alike musically that it was very easy to develop our concepts stylistically and expressively. It's been very exciting to present both of these programs of little-heard repertoire on instruments for which they were composed and to familiarize the modern listener with the sound and expressive qualities of the natural horn."

Both CDs are joint projects of the IU Jacobs School of Music and the Genesee Early Music Society of Rochester New York.