Horn 1: g - b2
Horn 2: d - f#2
Horn 3: a - b2
Horn 4: E - b1
Horn 5: f# - g2
Horn 6: d - e2
Horn 7: d - g2
Horn 8: E - g1
This arrangement of the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro takes up where Kerry Turner’s version left off, at least partly. Lynsdale-Nock’s version is for eight horns instead of only four, which provides more opportunities to change colours, and allows for the inclusion of more material, especially internal voices. The original orchestral densities can also be approximated better, with doubling of the parts and sectional distribution as found in the orchestra (for example strings only, wind solos, etc.).
One immediate difference between all versions is the key used. With the original in an uncomfortable D major (A major in horn pitch), Turner opted for E flat major (B flat). Lynsdale-Nock on the other hand transposes everything a tone down to C major (G major in horn pitch). This, while good for the range (Turner never went beyond the top tonic, written B flat, Lynsdale-Nock has an added third available, top B), is not exactly comfortable (lots of fast C sharp to D and back fingering). Considering the added internal voices though, there was not much of a choice. While one can get away with some harmonic reduction in a four-part version, when there is eight players it is much more difficult.
Lynsdale-Nock puts much longer portions of the theme into each single part. This is more challenging, especially in some places later on when there is a major seventh leap in the fast quaver (eight note) passages. He also uses the original rhythms where Turner goes for simplifications, and in general uses more of the repeated quaver figures from the original (except for the beginning, which is interesting). A slight complication is the constant omission of the downbeat after fast passages (read the review of Kerry Turner's version for an expansion on this topic), but this can easily be amended by the players as deemed necessary.
As always with Lysndale-Nock, there are some instances that require mutes or hand-stopping, adding different colours to the otherwise potentially monotonous open horn sound. The parts are distributed in the very common 1-3-5-7-2-4-6-8 (from top to bottom) formation, and the range is, while standard, making use of most the horn has to offer (pedal E to top B). While the key is not ideal, the compromises made yields good results, and the added inner voices are a welcome addition. With eight horns at your disposal, you do want to give this one a go.
rovision of review score: John Lynsdale-Nock (Corniworld)