Sunday, 1 November 2009

A new horn concerto!

I'm all excited!

Following the success of Sea Breeze, Christopher Irvin has agreed to write a horn concerto. For me! Hopefully I can get one of my local orchestras to put it on, I've been making some enquiries.

The first draft of the first movement arrived in the post earlier this week, and I've transcribed the solo horn part on to the computer, and I had a practice of it today. It is quite something to have a first chance to play a tune or a piece that nobody has ever played before.

It isn't finished yet, not by a long chalk. Chris still has to write the last two movements, and the first movement will need some tweaks. Chris is an oboeist and hasn't written for solo horn before, and so there are inevitably going to be teething problems as he gets used to what does and doesn't work on the horn. Thankfully, Chris seems very happy to get feedback from me about this - it will make for a much better performance if awkward bits which are harder than their effectiveness justifies can be smoothed out and made more characteristic of the horn.

I've sent him 3 emails so far with comments and suggestions. For instance there are some passages that need to go up an octave so they will sing out better, some adjustments to articulation I'd like to make here and there, one or two awkward corners that can be cleaned up to make them more effective.

But overall, the solo horn part definitely works as a piece and I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of it and getting a chance to perform it! It starts with a jaunty theme in 6/8, a change of mood with a legato tune in 4/4, then a Slow Valse followed by a rousing recapitulation of the opening theme.

Now to get the orchestration transcribed on to the computer, so I can hear the harmonies and accompaniment.

I'm going to blog on a regular basis as the piece gradually takes shape. At the earliest, I would expect to be able to get a first performance for it sometime in the 2010/2011 season. Such is the time it takes to get a piece of new music composed and performed.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful news! The one thing about Sea Breeze was that I thought there wasn't nearly enough horn. Looking forward to your blogging on this, the more detail the better on what does and doesn't work for horn and the various details of how the two of you are putting it all together. Congratulations.