Solos with piano accompaniment. These delightful miniatures for horn and piano are all connected with the Paris Conservatoire, and most were intended as sight-reading tests for the horn class at the annual Concours, or competition to find the best instrumentalist of the year.
Of particular interest to horn players is the atmospheric and dreamy Morceau de lecture which Paul Dukas wrote for the Concours of 1906. This charming piece, which has never before been published, was therefore written for the same competition as his famous Villanelle. It is joined here by original compositions for horn by Jules Massenet, Charles Lenepveu, and Adrien Barthe, which are also being published for the first time, and the 3rd of a set of six Mélodies by Charles Gounod. This is the only piece in A La Carte which was not written for the student competitors at the Concours, though Gounod himself was a student at the Conservatoire when he composed it in 1839.
John Humphries was born in Sheffield, and read Music at Oxford University. Subsequently he attended London's Guildhall School of Music, where he studied the natural horn with Anthony Halstead. His editions of horn music have been performed by many of the world's leading horn players, including Barry Tuckwell, Michael Thompson, Eric Ruske, Anthony Halstead, Stephen Stirling, Frank Lloyd, Javier Bonet and Raul Diaz and his reconstructions of Mozart's incomplete horn concerto movements have been praised for their "polish, authenticity, good scholarship and talent".
He is also well known as an arranger. One of his arrangements appears on the legendary London Horn Sound CD while others have been played worldwide by "The Wallace Collection". His arrangements for young players appear on all the main examination syllabuses in the UK.
As a writer, he has contributed booklet notes for many CDs and programme notes for hundreds of concerts. He has contributed articles and reviews for "The Horn Call", "The Horn Magazine" and "Brass Bulletin". His book, "The Early Horn", was published by Cambridge University Press in 2000 and has been described as "a superb book" "packed with usefulness" "Rarely can anything have been written on the early history of the horn that is quite as accessible and flowing." John is also a teacher and an examiner. He lives in Surrey, England with his wife, son and daughter and his hobbies include collecting brass instruments and repairing them.