for horn and piano

Stephen Roberts

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for horn and piano

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Composer Stephen Roberts
Year of Composition 2004
Duration ca.18'
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-sr1s1


Sonance explores the contrasting relationship between the horn and piano, as well as the contrasting personalities inherent within the instruments themselves. It was written in 2004/5 as a means of ‘taming’ serial compositional methods, and with no particular players in mind, save for the fact that these are the two main instruments I play myself. It is technically challenging, not least because of its length and I have kept it under wraps until now. Perhaps someone will be brave enough to take up the challenge!

The headline quote from Tennyson is clear enough, but the Shakespearian terms, ‘tucket’ and ‘sonance’ are used to define the development or character of independent variation sections. These are cut up in a similar way to scenes in cinematography and progress backwards or forwards revealing themselves only later in the piece as the ‘theme’. I conceived the broadly tripartite form in a similar manner to some films where flashbacks or scenes from the future are interlaced resulting in a dream-like sense of timelessness.