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The system of valves that allowed brass instruments to employ all the notes of the chromatic scale was developed between 1810 and 1820. Players of the natural horn, however, were not completely convinced, judging that the valves removed the characteristic timbre of each key and therefore standardised the instrument’s sound. This dispute was particularly intense in France, where virtuoso horn players such as Dauprat and Gallay never ceased to put forward their arguments in favour of the natural horn. This truly titanic struggle is the basis of this recording, with works that lead up to the first pieces to be composed for valve horn.