Peter Damm, who is one of the 20th century’s leading hornists, has built up an impressive discography in the course of the last three decades and more. These naturally focus upon “his” instrument: the horn. The present Edition brings together many of his recordings for the Eterna label. It illustrates the history of horn music through a large and varied repertoire such as is only rarely to be encountered. From chamber music to the great horn concertos, from the music of the 17th century to twentieth-century works, the spectrum is immense.
Peter Damm was born in Meiningen (Thuringia) in 1937. After learning the horn at the College of Music in Weimar he began his artistic career in 1957 as solo hornist with the Gera municipal orchestra. At the age of just 22, in 1959, Damm was appointed solo horn with the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, which at that time was making numerous gramophone recordings. Damm’s first solo recording was in 1961 with the Gewandhaus horn quartet, playing Robert Schumann’s Konzertstück op. 86 for four horns under the baton of Franz Konwitschny; he first appeared on a chamber-music recording in 1964.
In 1969 Damm was appointed solo hornist with the Staatskapelle Dresden. His cantabile style of playing placed Damm firmly in the Dresden tradition and became the hallmark of the Dresden wind section for almost forty years. During those years in Dresden Peter Damm was involved in more than 100 studio recordings with the Sächsische Staatskapelle. Famous international conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Herbert Blomstedt, Bernard Haitink and Giuseppe Sinopoli were fascinated by Damm’s horn playing at first hearing.
Peter Damm would always champion new music and the rediscovery of forgotten works from all eras in his work as a soloist on record releases. This applied in particular to the works of the Dresden court composers.