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New Repertoire Quick Look:

The Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund

Compiled by Rose Valby

Welcome to the “Quick Look” feature of the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund. IHS would like to share this wealth of new repertoire and make it easy for you to find music that fits your performing and teaching needs. Instrumentation, duration, horn range, extended techniques, general technical requirements, and any notable features are included to make your search easier. New pieces will be added regularly so check back frequently. Note: Ranges are in F. Octave notation clarification.

Also, please consider submitting an application to receive financial assistance if you are commissioning a new work involving horn.

{slider Jason Thorpe Buchanan: Double Concerto for Two Horns and Chamber Orchestra|closed}

Date of composition: 2014

Instrumentation: Two Horns and Chamber Orchestra

Commissioner: Michael Walker

Length: 10 minutes

Purchase information and composer website: http://www.jasonthorpebuchanan.com/music.php

Double Concerto for Two Horns and Chamber Orchestra was premiered by Michael Walker and Jeff Nelsen with the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble in 2014. Intended for an advanced ensemble lead by a conductor, his concerto features two horn soloists accompanied by two obbligato horns within the orchestra. Buchanan intentionally neutralizes definite pitch and harmony and focuses on other musical parameters. He draws inspiration from Ligeti’s famous Hamburg Concerto with the use of natural partials. All players are instructed to destabilize and distort their natural timbre, and clear score indications provide further detail and notational instruction. The texture throughout much of the concerto is very thick and intricate. Very advanced players are needed to perform this work and independently execute challenging rhythms, several meter changes and advanced extended technique.

{slider Lydia Busler-Blais: Lanterns}

Date of composition: 2011

Instrumentation: Flute, Horn, Piano

Commissioner: Susan LaFever of the Zinkali Trio

Length: 20 minutes

Horn Range: A through b’’

Purchase information: Contact composer at improvisant@gmail.com

Composer website: http://www.boblyd.com

Lydia Busler-Blais creates a variety of auditory snapshots in her trio, Lanterns, which is set in four distinct movements. “Seasons of a Street Lamp” includes each of the four seasons and the scenes which surround the lamp. “Paul Revere” is set during the American Revolution and evokes a feeling of patriotism with horn calls and sounds of horse hooves. “Rantan” presents four different moods inspired by various archetypal Japanese lanterns. The trio concludes with Arabian-influenced melodies in “Magic,” depicting three wishes granted from a magic lantern. The harmonic language is tonal, and various modes successfully characterize the mood of each movement. With the exception of several sections, the rhythmic activity of each part and between voices is quite intricate, but meter and pulse can be maintained with ease, as there are very few meter changes. This charming piece features a wide array of playing levels, making certain snapshots perfect for a young chamber ensemble, and others a challenge for even advanced players.

{slider David Cronin: Thrashing the Siren}

Year: 2011

Instrumentation: Horn, Harpsichord, String Bass, Percussion

Commissioner: Candace Thomas

Length: 5 minutes

Horn Range: e-flat through b’’

Purchase information: IHS Online Music Sales

Composer Website: http://www.composercronin.com/index.html

Inspired by Greek mythology, Thrashing the Siren mixes sounds of old and new to set the scene for stories of the Sirens and the sailors they bewitched with their singing. Continuously driving rhythm passed between voices allows the horn to weave in and out of its role as the main melodic voice. The modal scale material connotes a harkening back to the distant and ancient. With several repeated sections and a friendly time signature, this piece is a great find for the hornist who wants a straight forward setting to collaborate with instruments that go beyond typical horn chamber-music instrumentation.

{slider Michael Daugherty: Prayer}

Date of composition: 2014

Instrumentation: Two horns and Piano

Commissioner: Lisa Bontrager and Michelle Stebleton

Length: 8 minutes

Purchase information: http://www.michaeldaugherty.net/index.cfm?id=169&i=19&pagename=works

Commissioned for the 80th birthday of H. Robert Reynolds, Prayer reflects the calm mood of the Mississippi River while the setting sun turns into a clear star-filled night. Described by Daugherty as lyrical and soulful, the horn melodies contrast the piano’s polychords, which represent the echo of distant valley church bells. The horns play many passionate lines in perfect duet but also independently present their own melodies, mixing sweet and expressive moods. Prayer is a very effective addition to the horn chamber music repertoire that allows for moments of individuality and a perfect pairing.   

{slider Timothy A. Davis: Sonata for Horn and Percussion}

Date of composition: 2011

Instrumentation: Horn and Percussion (Kick drum, four tom-toms, crash cymbal, five temple blocks, bass drum, tam-tam, marimba, vibraphone)

Commissioner: Candace Thomas

Length: 6 minutes

Horn Range: f to g-flat’

Purchase information: Self-published


Written in three continuous movements with a traditional fast-slow-fast model, Davis’ sonata requires strong rhythmic independence from both players. Although there are several meter changes, the large beat remains the same, allowing for smooth meter transitions. Davis includes helpful instructions in the score for both players to facilitate the percussionist’s movement to a new instrument between sections. The horn range is quite moderate and would be appropriate for a musician who is continuing to expand his or her range but has a strong sense of pitch, as accidentals and intervallic relationships change frequently. Quick crescendos and dynamic changes further add energy to this sonically exciting duo.

{slider Anthony DiLorenzo: Phoenix Horn Concerto}

Date of composition: 2010

Instrumentation: Horn and Orchestra (or Piano Reduction)

Commissioner: William VerMeulen

Length: 15 minutes

Purchase information: http://artofsoundmusic.com/solo-horn/phoenix?zenid=cde497d557f3f610eb64c94bd8250805

Composer website: http://www.anthonydilorenzo.com

Featuring the natural beauty of the horn, DiLorenzo’s concerto uses the horn’s expressivity in this passionate work. The lush harmonies make this very effective for the rich colors of an orchestra, though still beautiful with piano. With the musical drama of a Hollywood Blockbuster, the horn technique and range is demanding and athletic, while always containing a thread of lyricism. Harmonic content is very pleasing and occasionally contains the orchestration and modality of Impressionistic music. The three-movement work is in a traditional fast-slow-fast layout and even contains a third-movement cadenza. Intended for an advanced horn player, DiLorenzo’s Phoenix will be sure to please your audience.

{slider Johanna Eränkö: Finite}

Date of composition: 2011

Instrumentation: Solo horn

Commissioner: Tommi Hyytinen

Length: 4 minutes

Horn Range: e to b’’

Purchase information: Music Finland at http://composers.musicfinland.fi/musicfinland/nuotisto.nsf/0/50F697BF2A12F0CDC22578F1002B2385?opendocument

Composer website: http://www.classicalplanet.com/webeuroclassical/videos/compositor/eranko-johanna/7122/0

Set for solo horn, Finite delves into a wide array of horn timbres ranging from its characteristic mellow and sonorous sound to half stopped, stopped, and straight muted. The composer explores the concept of timbre further by instructing the performer to play a single note consecutively with three different fingerings. A mysterious espressivo section alternates with an asymmetrical ritmico section in mixed meter that calls for more “bite” in the sound. This is a great pick to contrast a wide range of colors in a short solo work.

{slider Mark Goodenberger: Brave Wind}

Date of composition: 2014

Instrumentation: Horn, Field Drum

Commissioner: Dr. Jeffrey Snedeker

Length: 7 minutes

Horn Range: f-sharp through a’’

Purchase information:Available from IHS Online Music Sales

Composer website: https://www.cwu.edu/music/mark-goodenberger

Brave Wind interplays the heroic sounds of the horn and field drum to reflect the unpredictable and persistent spring wind found in the composer’s town of residence, Ellensburg, Washington. Extended techniques, such as producing wind sounds with an inverted mouthpiece, and scraping the drum with fingernails, combine with conventional playing techniques to create this uniquely timbred chamber work. Various “groove” patterns set the scene for improvisational passages from both players. This is a great pick for the hornist who wants to explore chamber music in a unique combination, try his or her hand at a short passage of improvisation, and have fun with a bit of a rhythmic challenge.

{slider James Naigus: Beale Suite}

Date of composition: 2012

Instrumentation: Horn Quartet

Commissioner: Heidi Vogel

Length: 10 minutes

Horn Range: c through a’’

Purchase information: http://jamesnaigus.com/compositions_instrumental.html

Composer website: http://jamesnaigus.com

An initial read-through and listen of Naigus’ Beale Suite shouts pure fun. Each of the suite’s five movements features a different style or artist of Memphis Blues. Naigus describes the first, third and fifth movements as containing a more traditional blues idiom, while the second and fourth movements are harmonically and stylistically opposite. Each player has a chance both to be a soloist and a part of the homogenous texture. It is worth noting that the fourth part is in treble clef, though occasionally dipping into bass-clef range. Although the range of this work is quite moderate, this quartet requires a somewhat mature group of musicians, as meters change regularly and the correct style must be achieved. A horn player himself, Naigus’ extended-technique markings are very clear in the score and he even offers fingerings for clarification. Substantial enough for any recital setting or perfect for playing with friends, Beale Suite is a delight for any horn player.

{slider Mark Oliveiro: Thunor’s Gate}

Date of composition: 2010

Instrumentation: Horn and live electronics

Commissioner: Zachary Glavan

Horn Range: F through e-flat’’

Length: 10 minutes

Purchase information: Contact composer at mark@o-vation.com.au. Soon available through IHS Online Music Sales.

Composer website: http://www.markoliveiro.com

Set in fifteen short scenes, Thunor’s Gate is a highly symbolic work for solo horn and live electronics that evokes feelings of returning to nature and the presence of the supernatural. The horn calls to the Mythological Gods with a variety of timbres including the use of open horn, playing with the removal of the F-Tuning slide to represent the Norwegian Bukkehorn or horn of the ram, and the addition of multiphonics. The horn is answered by electronics, which provides a supernatural quality. A laptop is required to run the downloadable electronics program and cues in the score provide clear instruction for when to press the spacebar, triggering a sonic scene change. This highly effective piece allows the performer to explore various extended techniques on the horn as well as perform with electronics that are self-controlled.

{slider Russell Pinkston: Zylamander}

Date of composition: 2011

Instrumentation: Horn and Max/MSP (computer)

Commissioner: Luke Zyla

Length: 8 minutes

Horn Range: d through c-sharp’’’

Purchase information: http://russellpinkston.com/?portfolio=zylamander

Composer website: http://russellpinkston.com

Cleverly named Zylamander after commissioner Luke Zyla, this very effective single-movement work paints the horn in an almost mythical and modern light. The first of several distinct sections presents the horn with an ancient, early sound that emerges from distant chords from the computer. Tension builds with rhythmic, dynamic, and sonic activity until a distinct ostinato develops from the computer’s distortion of sound in both voices. The horn presents its own rhythmic pattern that is often accompanied by a computer-generated horn section based on the player’s input. In the following section, high range and technical ability of an advanced player are showcased before dissolving back into modern chant-like melodies. The computer program is initially started by the performer with a pedal, and markings in the score indicate when the next computer event occurs, activated by the performer’s change in pitch. A laptop, clip-on microphone, standing microphone, and small mixer are needed to perform this piece. Zylamander is a wonderful new addition to the modern horn repertoire and effective for a variety of performance venues and audiences.

{slider Dan Welcher: Spring Music}

Date of composition: 2015

Instrumentation: Flute (and piccolo), Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn

Commissioner: Patrick Hughes

Length: 7 minutes

Horn Range: g-sharp through a’’

Purchase information: Theodore Presser or visit composer website

Composer website: http://www.danwelcher.com/home.php

Welcher’s woodwind quintet Spring Music is dedicated to Rebecca Henderson, retired Professor of Oboe at the University of Texas at Austin. The quintet was premiered in a recital presenting a cycle of the four seasons, which included Samuel Barber’s Summer Music, Donald Grantham’s Winter Music, and Yevgeniy Sharlat’s Herbst Music. Written for an advanced quintet, this primarily playful and light music features many meter and tempo changes. Each player requires rhythmic independence and confidence, though many times voices are paired, expressing flurries of activity or lyricism.  Welcher gives a nod to Samuel Barber’s historic Summer Music and Vivaldi’s “Spring” from the Four Seasons with brief quotations and structural choices, including a single-movement structure. Spring Music programs well as a stand-alone work or grouped in a seasons-themed cycle.

{slider Andy Wolfe: Cave of Souls}

Date of composition: 2011

Instrumentation: Horn and Piano

Commissioner: Susan McCullough

Length: 10 Minutes

Horn Range: g through b-flat’’

Purchase information: http://www.denverbrass.org/store/publications

Composer website: http://www.denverbrass.org/musicians/andy-wolfe

Set in four distinct movements, Cave of Souls depicts a journey based on four poems by the composer himself. The horn’s lyricism is featured throughout the work, and any technical passages enhance this. The movements vary in range and difficulty, making selected movements appropriate for a variety of players, though presented most effectively as a whole. The range is quite modest, except for a few notes above the staff in later movements, but all movements require flexibility, as there are many large intervals. Trills and glisses are also included, though sparingly. The meter in each movement remains very stable and because the piano part provides rhythmic stability with repeated patterns in each movement, horn and piano lines fall together with relative ease while presenting Hollywood grandeur. Exciting, lyrical, and programmatic, Cave of Souls is an enjoyable journey for audiences.

{slider Andy Wolfe: Triptych}

Date of composition: 2014

Instrumentation: Horn, Trombone, Piano

Commissioner: Jason M. Johnston

Length: 12 minutes

Horn Range: a through c’’’

Purchase information: http://www.denverbrass.org/store/publications

Composer website: http://www.denverbrass.org/musicians/andy-wolfe

Set in three movements, Triptych begins with a lively first movement that contrasts the horn and trombone’s energetic and lyrical qualities with the piano’s continuous “ritmico” pattern. The second movement begins with a stable and flowing triplet pattern in the piano that transitions to duple rhythms to complement the espressivo trombone and horn lines. Each solo voice begins independently then later comes together. The third movement, again, allows the pianist to set the tempo, which is allegro furioso. Trombone and horn trade the driving rhythmic line with the piano throughout the movement, which also contains hemiola, but remains in the same meter throughout. The horn part requires good flexibility with many intervals spanning an octave or more, but stays within a quite moderate range, mostly within the staff, until the very end of the third movement with a c to c’’’ slur. The stability of the meter and piano part, the primarily moderate horn range, and few tempo changes within movements allows this work to come together with relative ease while being very pleasing for audiences.


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