Felix Klieser first began to take a serious interest in the "Horn Trio" of Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) at the age of thirteen. Back then he was just a junior student at the College of Music and Drama in Hanover. He bought several different recordings of the work, including one featuring the hornist Peter Damm, whom he was later to meet at a master class in Dresden.
"I picked up quickly that Felix was extraordinarily talented. He was able to elicit from the horn a soft, warm sound, a distinctly Romantic horn tone," says the former horn-player of the Dresden Staatskapelle in high praise of Klieser in the booklet text to the young musician’s new album entitled "Horn Trios", released on the Berlin Classics label on September 29, 2017.
"The Brahms Trio is the pride of the horn literature," according to Peter Damm, a view he shares with Felix Klieser. That led him to seek out other such works, perhaps even unknown literature from the horn trio genre. He came across the French composer Frédéric Nicolas Duvernoy (1765–1838), who was hornist at the Paris Opera, Fauré pupil Charles Koechlin (1867–1950) and the Mannheim-born Robert Kahn (1865–1951) who was hounded by the Nazis. The result is a programme of works spanning nearly 100 years of development of the horn trio, which bring Felix Klieser a further step towards his goal: to place the horn centre stage as a colourful and profoundly Romantic instrument. "I am pleased to take you on a new journey through the world of the horn," he begins his personal foreword to the album booklet.
Such a plan requires the right chamber music partners, whom Felix Klieser has happily found: at the piano sits the outstanding and sensitive Herbert Schuch, while the violin is played by the Ukrainian ARD competition winner Andrej Bielow.
"It was a wonderful experience for us to learn these pieces, some of them quite new to us, thereby expanding the scope of the chamber music genre in an exciting way," enthuses Felix Klieser. The three musicians have known each other for years. Before playing together in a range of different formations, Felix Klieser even took courses as a young student with his two colleagues, 10 and 12 years his senior.
"Horn Trios" is Felix Klieser’s third recording. His debut album "Reveries" (2013) featuring Romantic music for horn and piano earned him an ECHO Klassik award as "Newcomer of the Year". In 2015, he released the CD "Horn Concertos" with works by Joseph Haydn and his younger brother Michael and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, recorded with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra of Heilbronn under Ruben Gazarian. That same year, he received the Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.
His book entitled "Fussnoten – Ein Hornist ohne Arme erobert die Welt" (“footnotes – a horn-player without arms conquers the world”, 2014, published by Patmos) has since been translated into Japanese and Chinese, to accompany his tours to those countries.
This new recording confirms to all those who recognised his talent at a young age and encouraged him and believed in him, that Felix Klieser is an exceptional artist. The young student has now risen to be a master of his instrument.