Some notes on style & performance
At first glance one could state that the horn solo of the 'Duo d'Amour' is clearly a valve horn part and therefore this work provides one of only a few pieces of evidence that Stenebruggen also played the valve horn at some point in his career. This, once again, highlights the difficulty in drawing a clear line between valve horn and and natural horn performers.
On the aspect of style, we focuses on the following considerations:
- dynamics: it is a love duet, so everything very soft, creating an exceptional warm atmosphere. None of the instruments should push the other away, however, the horn (the 'harlequin') clearly leads the dance.
- tempo: as slow as breathing/ of the piece allowed us to. Tempo in this piece was regarded as something organic, rather than as a matter of speed: tempo changes, especially forwarding on the development of the phrase and slowing down at resolutions of chords was imposed. We tried to get a fluent structure in the complete piece.
- for the interpretation of the phrase, we tried to adapt as much as possible the portamento effect as heard in late 19th century singing recordings.
- we limited the use of vibrato in violin and horn and tried mainly to transfer regular vibrato in a more singing tone structure that added colour.