- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
H. Domnich Méthode de premier et de Second Cor
A complete English translation of the first edition.
By Darryl Poulsen
Paris, early 1800s: the new Classical orchestra was well on the way to being firmly established. At the same time, far-reaching instrumental reforms resulted in the disappearance of some instruments and the modification of others. It was in this latter context that Heinrich Domnich published his seminal treatise, MÉTHODE DE PREMIER ET DE SECOND COR, in Paris 1807.
Upon the formation of the Paris Conservatoire in 1795, Domnich was appointed one of its founding professors. He distinguished himself in this capacity by producing a number of outstanding students as well his famous Méthode. The Méthode was adopted as the official horn tutor of the Paris Conservatoire in 1807.
Domnich’s Méthode is one of the few historical primary sources
on the possible origin of hand-stopping. It provides for the first time in print additional explicit detail and instruction of every aspect of the hand-stopping technique and horn-playing more generally as related to the Classical natural horn. It was also
most likely the first treatise aimed at developing the student musically as well as technically.
Of particular note is the substantial ‘Historical Notice’ which appears at the beginning of this first edition of Domnich’s Méthode. Although omitted from the later Mainz edition in 1832 for reasons unknown, it remains an essential primary source providing a broad account of the horn’s evolution from its origins up to and including the Classical era.