Boosey natural horn Karl Kramer 1929
Period instrument, hand-horn by Boosey owned by Karl Kramer
Paxman model 40 Karl Kramer
Karl Kramer horn collection: Paxman extra large bore descant horn with mouthpiece by Bruno Tilz

Horns

I bought this horn by Daniel Rauch in 2005, and it has been my main instrument ever since.  It has serial number 316 and is a standard Geyer style horn in yellow brass.  I especially enjoy playing this horn in chamber music settings, as it responds very easily in softer dynamics.  I have had the good fortune to be able to have Dan himself look after the horn and do most of the necessary repairs (change the handguards, put a small patch inside the bell.)

 

I am fortunate enough to also own Dan Rauch’s number 94.  This horn was made in 1990 and I think I have done some of my finest performances on it.  There are subtle differences from his more recent model - the most obvious distinction from my other Rauch is that this one is in gold brass.  This horn is truly “bottomless” and can handle all loud dynamics without backing up.  I love the warmth of the sound from this horn but don’t play it very often these days.

 

This Engelbert Schmid triple horn (Bb/F/highEb) has been in my possession since 2003.  When I bought it, I thought it was going to solve all my problems as a horn player.  I don’t think it quite worked out like that – it took me some time to get used to the feel of this horn, and I needed to experiment with some different bells (I ended up with a hand-hammered, medium gold brass bell).  I often use this horn for shows and commercial style playing and love the clarity and stability of this instrument.

 

The first horn I bought for myself: A Paxman model 40 with F extension and stopping valve.  The horn is in gold brass with an extra large bell.  It is virtually impossible to get an edgy sound on this horn yet it is perfectly suitable for light repertoire as well as heavy orchestral playing - a truly versatile horn.  It was made in 1978 and came to me in the mid-eighties.  For a few years I played it exclusively.  Curiously, this horn can be shortened to a “C” horn (or “B” horn).  One can also reverse the stopping valve to put in back in Bb and use the stopping valve as an ascending whole/half step option.  I’ve never seen this option on any other instrument.

 

This natural horn by Boosey most likely had a set of piston valves at some point.  When I bought it, I was told it was made in 1927 – looking up the serial number, I find 1929 to be more likely.  Currently, I have crooks to play in F, E, Eb, D (the “solo” keys) at both modern and classical pitch.  I believe the dimensions of this horn are quite similar to French instruments of the 19th century, and I get that sort of “authentic” feeling when I play it...

Karl Kramer Johansen owns Rauch horn #316
Karl Kramer-Johansen: French horn by Dan Rauch
Karl Kramer's second Rauch horn with Yamaha copy mouthpiece
Engelbert Schmid horn owned by Karl Kramer
Karl Kramer triple horn by Engelbert Schmid, mouthpiece by Gebr. Alexander