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Horn Sonata No. 3

This is my third new sonata for unaccompanied French horn. it has three movements as follows:

Movement 1: Dance

It begins with a crotchet theme which forms the basis of the rest of the movement.

The opening should be stately and measured, but not slow. The echoes should be as quiet as possible for each statement of the opening motif.

I have made a lot of use of rhythmic features in this movement. After the Maestoso, the 12/8 section is in the nature of a jig, with lots of repeated pitches and very rhythmical There's much use of syncopation. After I have played around with these ideas (intervals based on the opening) there is a more legato tune, also based on the opening music, but in a grander style and marked nobilmente. This is almost a processional, and leads to a reprise of the jig motifs in a new mode and with modifications to the rhythm.

The second movement of this sonata is a set of 3 variations on an original tune. The melody is quite hymn-like and needs to be played as such. Very legato, with very slight tongue.

Variation 1 is an 8th note variation, with a slight increase in tempo to help it to flow. The player will need to pay close attention to the written phrasing so as not to lose the theme. This variation is p throughout.

Variation 2 is a triplet/sextuplet variation, again with a slight increase in tempo. This variation has turns, which I have written out in ossias above to be clear how I would like it to be played.

Variation 3 is a semiquaver and glissando variation, requiring good tongue technique and clear phrasing. Breathing should be easy as I have made provision for breaths to mark the ends of phrases. Please don't change these!

Finally, there is a restatement of the original theme with slight adaptations to bring the movement to a quiet finish.

The third and final movement of the sonata is a rondo. The opening music keeps returning throughout the length of the movement. It comprises a stuttering rhythmic phrase with alternating upwards and downwards scales which gradually build up throughout the opening of the movement.

Each time the ritornello idea returns it has been altered in some way. Between the ritornelli are slightly less frenetic sections of cantabile melodic ideas which hark back to both the first and second movements as well as referencing the scalic ideas from the third movement.

Although the music is fast, it should be playable without resorting to triple tonguing.

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