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William Kreindler
MusicWeb International, February 2020

…Leo Halsdorf deserves nothing but praise. He is virtually flawless in execution, while having enough poetry in his interpretations to keep the music consistently interesting. Pianist Kae Shiraki accompanies brilliantly and the two performers have a natural give-and-take that adds to one’s overall enjoyment of the music. … This is a fine disc with which to make the acquaintance of a composer who should be better remembered than he is at present. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, December 2019

The Luxembourg hornist Leo Halsdorf impresses with his technically fine playing and a solid musicality. In the three Schumann works pianist Kae Shiraki has a lot to do and she obviously enjoys playing her part powerfully and expressively.

The program is completed with Sur la Montagne by the Luxembourg composer Laurent Ménager (1835-1902), a delightful work and a wonderful conclusion to a very special CD. © 2019 Pizzicato Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2019

Camillo Schumann has no relationship with the famous husband and wife of a previous generation, his 1872 birth taking him well into the Twentieth century.

Yet listening to this disc you would not for one moment believe this prolific composer was writing music at the same time as Janacek, Stravinsky and Ravel, his style having long gone out of fashion by the time his music was premiered. Should we dismiss works that were so totally out of sync with other music at the time of composition? That is the usual fate in the world of classical music, and Camillo was still writing his First Horn Sonata in 1911 totally indebted to the style of Brahms. Tuneful, uncomplicated and pleasing, nothing had changed twenty-five years later when the Second appeared, the finale using the ‘well tried’ hunting horn formula. Strangely it is the Three Recital Pieces, one of his earliest scores, that I found the most engaging of his works. Writing five years ago about his Cello Sonatas released on Naxos, I learned from the highly informative programme note that accompanied that disc, that it was only through the actions of one man, Harald Schurz, that we hear it at all. All would have been destroyed had he not preserved a complete library of Camillo’s music, the two sonatas included here unpublished until 2015. For horn players they offer a pleasing diversion without too many technical hurdles, most of the demands placed on the pianist. Leo Halsdorf, presently the principal horn in his native Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, produces a sturdy and fulsome sound, that is presently much in favour, and provides an ample dynamic range to meet Schumann’s requirements. He is partnered by the multi-prize winning Japanese-born Kae Shiraki, most of her much acclaimed career taking place in Europe. Very good recorded sound for ‘World Premier Recordings’© 2019 David’s Review Corner



Records International, December 2019

Schumann, a pupil of Reinecke in Leipzig, enjoyed an admired career as an organist, pianist and prolific composer. He pursued a traditional path that reflected his own training, interests and beliefs-barely acknowledging the tumultuous contemporary musical world of Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Instead, his works for horn and piano enshrine the finest qualities of German Romantic music. Sur la montagne by Laurent Ménager, a leading Luxembourgian composer, is a short but richly evocative depiction of a mountain landscape. © 2019 Records International





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