Quartet for horn, two violins, and piano

The Quartet for horn, two violins and piano was composed in 1983 in New York City and unfolds in three movements.  The first movement, marked Allegro furioso, begins with a driving ostinato in the piano and is followed by a series of fanfare motives in the violins and horn.  These motives will later be developed in a contrapuntal, imitative fashion.  Along the way, the fast music is interrupted by a slower, chorale section, which will return as a reminiscence in the third movement.

The second movement, Molto adagio, begins with a lyrical solo in the horn.  This melodic line slowly builds and expands with the addition of the violins, pushing towards the climactic midpoint of the movement, before falling away into the quieter atmosphere where the movement began.  The main theme of the final Allegro is introduced by the horn, accompanied by aggressive chords in the piano and strings.  This theme will become the subject for certain fugato sections which follow.  The middle section of this movement provides a brief restatement of the second movement’s lyrical music, followed by the chorale reminiscence of the first movement. The Allegro then closes with a return of the main theme, bringing the Quartet to a rousing close.

Commissioned by the Austin Chamber Music Center, Felicity Coltman, director, this composition was premiered 27 January 1984 on a recital of my work at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. The players were Stig Jensen, horn; Wha-Rim Kim and Rachel Durling, violins; and Carol Archer, piano.

horn, 2 violins, piano
Date completed:
ca. 12:00

Quartet for Horn, two Violins and Piano - mvt. I

Quartet for Horn, two Violins and Piano - mvt. II

Quartet for Horn, two Violins and Piano - mvt. III

International Horn Society

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