London – Stephen Stirling

Thursday 7 September, 7:30pm, St Martin-in-the-Fields 

Programme to include: 

Matthew Taylor Horn Concerto No. 2 – World Premiere

Haydn Symphony No. 22 ‘The Philosopher’ 

Like the human voice, the horn can be heroic, romantic, soothing, joyful, yearning – and everything in between. ASMF celebrates this versatile instrument in September in a concert featuring two works, written 260 years apart, that allow the horn to shine. One of these, the second horn concerto by Matthew Taylor in its world premiere, will be performed by Stephen Stirling, the player who inspired it.

Matthew Taylor’s imaginative Horn Concerto No.2 channels both Haydn and Arnold with its singing allegro and rollicking finale, while the delicate intermezzo has shades of Brahms. The final movement – an animated conversation piece for horn, oboe and cor Anglais – will raise a smile with its Laurel-and-Hardy-esque sign off. Written for his friend and ASMF member Stephen Stirling, Matthew commented: ‘I have always felt that Steve was the most poetic of horn players and much of the concerto tries to reflect this’. This is a work that will intrigue and entertain in equal measure. It has been paired with Haydn’s ‘Philosopher’ symphony where the horns play a prominent role in a ‘debate’ with two cors anglais, a moment of orchestration unique amongst Haydn’s symphonies.