hornroh modern alphorn quartet



CD 1: Büchelruf; Tell!; Marginalie Nr. 1; Eichel Ober; Gruss aus Adelboden; Büchel-Gsätzli; Marginailie Nr. 8; Marginalie Nr. 9; Uf-em Dosse!; Marginalie Nr. 4; Marginalie Nr. 3; Wir Drei!; Zwei Büchelrufe; Überm Nebel; Der Myther; Marginalie Nr. 6; Marginalie Nr. 7; Bücheruf; Kuhreihen der Siebenthaler; Marginalie Nr. 6; Marginalie Nr. 5; Unterwaldner Alphornweise; Büchelruf; De Rigiblickler; Büchelruf; Marginalie Nr. 2; Le Ranz des Vaches; Marginalie Nr. 10. CD 2: Büchel vom Rigikulm; Choral des Alpes; Heilig; "Gletsc"; Ausklang; Wiegenlied.


What is the photo on the cover of this CD? A close-up of an elephant’s skin, with its folds and crannies? A mouldy cheese from France? Or perhaps, after all, a view of the fissures and crevices of a glacier? Puzzling moments such as are offered by this video still by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud can be found, too, in the music on this double CD that is entitled hornroh modern alphorn quartet. It is a music that does not just stimulate our imagination, but also raises critical questions about our listening habits. It’s best if one takes the time to listen to both these CDs one track at a time: slow listening is what’s needed here! Slowly exploring this world of music is like walking over a glacier: you’re treading on uncertain terrain, slipping and sliding, but all the while your senses are being heightened and you experience new, fascinating, unfamiliar things. All this is made possible by the ‘raw’ nature of the alphorns. They simply reject the standards of European music that we have internalized since childhood, namely the equal temperament of our chromatic 12-tone system in which all natural intervals except the octave have been altered. There is nothing that can be altered on the alphorn! It can only ever follow the invariable law of the overtones, producing ever smaller intervals, the higher you go. To our ears these become ever more unfamiliar, but because of their vibration ratios they still come across as natural and not at all dissonant. They exude the alien beauty of a rare plant. The 7th overtone already leaves behind the twelve-note system to which we are so accustomed, and when we rise up to the 11th and 13th overtones, we move step by step into ever more unsettling regions of sound. Just like the mountains call to us, luring us up into the heights until we reach the glacier, so the overtones of the alphorn exert a pull that we are hardly able to resist.


Mischa Käser; A.L. Gassmann; Georg Haider; Robert Kurzen; Balthasar Streiff; Robert Scotton; Anton Wicky.


hornroh modern alphorn quartet: Balthasar Streiff und Michael Büttler, Alphorn, Büchel; Jennifer Tauder, Alphorn, Stimme; Lukas Briggen, Alphorn.

CD order number

MGB -NV 31

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