Hands-on Hans

BBC Music Magazine - - LETTERS -

Fur­ther to your Time­piece ar­ti­cle (Christ­mas) on Wag­ner’s Siegfried Idyll, the con­duc­tor Hans Richter not only played trum­pet for the Christ­mas morn­ing per­for­mance (a whole 13 bars), but he also filled in se­cond vi­ola near the end. Stand­ing half­way up the stairs, he also re­layed Wag­ner’s beat to those play­ers fur­ther down who could not see Wag­ner con­duct­ing. Richter had learnt the trum­pet es­pe­cially for this oc­ca­sion – his main in­stru­ment was the French horn. El­gar paid trib­ute to Richter’s horn skills in both his sym­phonies, which have vir­tu­oso parts for the horn sec­tion – his First Sym­phony is ded­i­cated to Richter and the Se­cond con­tains in its fi­nale a theme la­belled ‘Hans him­self !’ in El­gar’s sketches. Dun­can Eves, Winch­ester

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