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Horn Sonata No. 2

This is my second Horn Sonata for unaccompanied horn. Like the first, it has 3 movements, each of which can be played on their own.

1st. Movement: Andante piacere

The music of the first section is based on the opening idea. The descending glissandos and the repeated note figures should be taken in a leisurely way, a piacere, rather than in totally strict time. In bar 10, the flz should appear out of the tied note, without a fresh tongue.

From letter A, the music is based on the repeated note patterns which are gradually developed and metamorphosed into new shapes in a gradual process. At letter B, a second motif is added which is more expressive and dynamically diverse. The development of this idea reaches a climax at the rall before letter C, from where this idea becomes more frenetic and agitated until it 'tires itself out' in the pauses before letter D.

Here the original repeated note motif reappears to provide a basic ternary shape as the original ideas, changed by the development process are re-stated in their new forms. The closing pauses should be played as marked, with comma breaks, but not between the two notes in the penultimate bar.

2nd Movement: Adagio

This movement is slow and wistful, atmospheric and drifting. Each phrase should be given its own space. Each individual motif has its own rises and falls and these should be tastefully exaggerated to give them as much definition as possible. 3rd. Movement: Allegro vivace

This movement is intended to be flashy and full of life. The 7/8 time signature gives it plenty of off-beat vivacity. Players will need to make sure they know what the pulse is as it shifts from 2+2+3 to 2+3+2 and 3+2+2.

Much of the material (motifs) are related to the music of the first two movements so this rousing finale will brig a sense of completeness to the performance of the sonata, though it can, of course, be played as a separate piece in its own right.

This movement is both enjoyable and challenging, requiring a good technique and counting skills. The subtle shifts to 6/8 and 5/8 - and even 3/4 time need to be treated with care.

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