The mood of this concerto is fundamentally nocturnal; perhaps not necessarily a dreamy nocturne as such, but an exploration of a moonlight, dappled world, full of mysterious skitterings and romantic, yearning melodies of the kind that the horn of all instruments can present so well.
The strings use mutes throughout much of the work, and are divided unconventionally; there are no first and second violins as such, but instead a body of instruments that is frequently subdivided (as are the violas, cellos and double basses) into two or more parts. There are no trumpets in the brass section, but a pair of the mellower flugelhorns instead.
The solo horn begins offstage, and progresses steadily across the platform during the course of the concerto, visually mapping out its structure – it takes centre stage, for instance, during the flickering scherzo that forms the heart of the work – until it delivers its final phrases, sinking to the lowest registers of the instrument, directly opposite the point at which it began.
compelling – lyrical, dusky, enchanted, emotionally varied – the thrill of the hunt evident at significant moments. Full text at: http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=13987