For: Solo Cor Anglais + piano
page one of Hortensia

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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
6 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Hortensia is the Latin name for a hydrangea, and it’s also a girl’s name. So it’s up to you to decide whether you think this piece is about a flowering shrub or a young lady with an old-fashioned and frankly pretentious name. (If you think the latter, imagine a somewhat younger version of Mervyn Peake’s illustration of Irma Prunesquallor from the Gormenghast books.)

It’s a rondo, and it’s scored for cor anglais and piano. The instruments are equal partners; the piano isn’t just accompaniment. The cor anglais is there because I think the slow-moving rondo subject cries out for its dark, soulful, smoky sound, but I would have no objection to the piece being played on some other instrument, transposed if necessary.

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