Description

A friend’s daughter had been a horn player in her younger years, one who’d provide advice whenever I’d ask regarding the viability of  part under construction. Learning that presently she’d not had much time for musical endeavours due to her post-collegiate immersion in the literary world, I wanted to provide her with a reason to open the case holding her French Horn. Call it gratitude for willingly providing a player’s perspective.  This piece was written with that thought of enticing her to pick up her horn once again, even sporadically, and thus is dedicated to her with that hope.  The Recitativo and Arietta for French Horn and Piano is a reflection on the vocal medium that is dear to me. Ruminating on the young horn player, the ideas germinated after returning home from Cologne where I had briefly stopped over after a visit to my grandparents’ hometown; Gagliano Castelferrato, Enna, Sicilia. The journey’s diversion, though quite wide afield, was precipitated by my desire to meet a colleague face-to-face for the first time after a good number of years of digital friendship. The music in this short work means to merge the somewhat divergent musical styles we each pursue. As they continued to develop and take root I recognized them to be the basis of the work I wanted to prepare for the young lady.  Not so long as to impose upon her career but with enough substance to draw her into the work.  The music opens with a plaintive melody for the unaccompanied horn in the style of a recitative. Reasonably straight-forward in design, it is full of the melancholy I felt standing in a piazza and looking around the old hometown. Upon the final notes of this opening the piano enters setting the mood for the horn’s arietta with a cadential phrase that will be repeated. More through-composed than strophic even amidst the repeated piano phrase, the arietta seeks to make only a single statement expressing the  amazement to have been standing very possibly where my grandparents stood a lifetime or two ago.