Sonata No. 4 for Horn and Piano

For: Solo Horn in F + piano
page one of Sonata No. 4  for Horn and Piano

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Sonata No. 4 for Horn and Piano

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

This is the full version of my horn sonata no. 4.

1st.Movement It is a lively piece after a slow introduction and requires good breath control and tonguing throughout.

The opening contains all the ideas and motifs that are important throughout the rest of the piece. These include, but are not exclusive to a 'hunting call' motif. glissandos, triplet figures and a marching bassline. Each motif or idea is clearly stated before being thrown into the mixing pot after the horn cadenza.

At just under 4 minutes this is not to long or too short to be used as a concert item on its own. The whole is a very satisfying tonal piece which would suit most medium to advanced players.

2nd. Movement

Rather than a slow movement, I decided to base it on a minuet and trio form. The main driver in the minuet is the quaver pattern that begins in the piano. This should be very rubato, much more so than in the mp3. Over this, the horn has a legato melody.

At the change to minor, (meno mosso a piacere) the change of tempo should be abrupt (no rall) and the whole section is very dramatic. The horn should be strident in the louder passages and super smooth in the quieter ones.

At the coda, the mood should be sultry, almost lazy. This is still 'a piacere'. The pianist needs to be really finely controlled in the diminuendo to the finish.

3rd. Movement

This movement is marked 'Presto' with the crotchet beat set at 120. It should not go faster than this.

In 12/8, it has something of the character of a jig, At first between the LH of the piano, with the RH joining in on the repeat. This happens again, in a slightly altered way later on. This opening idea is treated almost as a ritornello. It appears in the piano alone on its next iteration, leading into a syncopated section in the minor.

This is followed by the ritornello and then another minor section using short glisses and dramatic chords. There is also need of fluttertongung in this section.

Finally, the ritornello idea returns in the dominant, taking the horn up into the top register. This section leads to the close with a downward gliss, which counterbalances the upward gliss at the end of the first movement.

This is a challeging but enjoyable addition to the horn repertoire.

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