New Wine in an Old Bottle is a recent release on the Move label, featuring new compositions for the natural horn, an instrument that dates back to the 18th century. Played without valves, the natural horn began as an instruments of the hunt and developed into the French Horn, now an instrument of the orchestra.
The music on New Wine in an Old Bottle has been especially written for the natural horn by
Australian composer Thomas McConochie and performed by Mark Papworth on the natural
horn with Amanda Millar playing the piano and cello. McConochie composed these sonatas in a neo-classical style that harks back to the golden era of the pre-valve natural horn during the time of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. After valves were invented in the 1820s, the natural horn gradually faded out over the next 60 years. With renewed interest in historical performance practice techniques, the natural horn has been “rediscovered” and more horn players are beginning to learn the old techniques.
Modern composers have begun to appreciate the possibilities of writing for the natural horn, and there is a growing interest in writing new works for it. Thomas McConochie is one such composer. McConochie composes music in styles ranging from modern classical, to jazz, and world music. Elements of classicism such as balance, symmetry, restraint, clear and elegant development of musical ideas, etc., are present in much of Thomas’ music, including his
Melbourne tram driver Mark Papworth is a highly accomplished musician who is at home on very different types of French horn: baroque, natural and modern. His 2020 release, Siegfried’s Story is a musical journey through Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungs, arranged for horn, tuba and piano by Papworth.
Amanda Millar is a versatile performer and educator in piano, cello and voice, based in Melbourne. A keen accompanist from early on, she collaborates with numerous instrumental and vocal soloists across Melbourne
Available on CD now at www.move.com.au and for download and streaming on all popular digital platforms.