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After a decade with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Alec Frank-Gemmill stepped down as Principal Horn in February 2019. This, his final recording with the SCO, is a fitting tribute to Frank-Gemmill who was “one of the orchestra’s superstars” (The Times). Robin Ticciati conducts the all-Strauss programme showcasing Frank-Gemmill’s extraordinary horn playing, as well as the skills of SCO section principals Maximiliano Martín (clarinet) and Peter Whelan (bassoon) in the Duett-Concertino. Strauss wrote his brilliantly accomplished first horn concerto when he was still in his teens, inspired by his father who was a leading horn player; it has a tuneful freshness that is reminiscent of Schumann and positions the heroically virtuosic and warmly lyrical aspects of the horn to the fore, all the while testing the soloist’s agility. The Duett-Concertino is a melodic and genial work featuring Strauss’s hallmark chromaticism and rich orchestration; its three movements are typically programmatic and enjoyably quirky in parts. The entire wind section excels in the single-movement Serenade in E flat major, which extends the Wind Soloists discography beyond its critically acclaimed recordings of Beethoven and Mozart.