Three Fanfares for Four Horns was written during a short period in 1984, the first in June, the second in October, and the third in early November. I had just completed a very serious work for organ, Meditations, and wished to write something of a lighter character before embarking on a larger scale project. I am not certain why I decided upon an ensemble of four horns, but the birthdays of two close friends were imminent and what better way to herald milestone anniversaries than with a fanfare.
The first fanfare is dedicated to Moshe Paranov, founder of the Hartt School of Music (where I was Dean at the time), whose ninetieth birthday was to take place in October 1985. The third fanfare honors Gunther Schuller with whom I was associated for ten years the New England Conservatory and who was to celebrate his sixtieth birthday in November, 1985. In between these two spirited and somewhat whimsical movements, I placed a slow lyric fanfare, more solemn in nature. It was dedicated to Edward Diemente, a composer on the Hartt faculty whose friendship was particularly dear to me during my Hartford years.
Each fanfare can be played alone. Each, however, is part of a whole which is intended to be performed as a unit. The third contains a French waltz, perhaps a nostalgic reflection on the fifteen years I spent in Paris as a student and young professional.