If it hasn’t happened already, Lin Jiang is going to take the horn world by storm—this is a superb recording, and he made it two years ago at the age of 21. It approaches perfection. His tone is full and dark yet clear, and he has power and absolute security in high and low register extremes. Technically difficult passages do not sound difficult, and he plays with passion and depth of feeling.
The programme consists of standard repertory by Schumann, Poulenc and Hindemith; a couple of often programmed pieces of modernism by Peter Maxwell Davies and Otto Ketting; works by former horn players Gunther Schuller (I have never heard this haunting Nocturne, 1943) and Esa-Pekka Salonen (previously recorded by Andrew Lewinter, July/Aug 1997: 221); an eye-popping reading of the 'Gigue' from Bach’s 3rd Cello Suite; and Encore, My Good Sir, a demanding little ditty composed in 2006 by Jiang’s friend Thaddeus Huang.
Lin Jiang just finished his bachelor’s degree at Melbourne University—what a student he must have been! I look forward to hearing much more from this phenomenal young artist. Excellent collaboration by pianist Benjamin Martin.