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Thea Musgrave

Publisher: Novello & Co

Concerto for Horn (1971)
commissioned by Mario di Bonaventura for Barry Tuckwell and the Hopkins Centre Congregation of the Arts Festival at Dartmouth Congregation of the Arts, USA
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
1971
Duration
22 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
horn


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Programme Note
Thea Musgrave Concerto for Horn (1971)
The Horn Concerto was composed in 1970-71 in response to a commission from Mario di Bonaventura for the Hopkins Center Congregation of the Arts Festival at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. It is dedicated to Barry Tuckwell. It belongs to the series of my ‘dramatic abstract’ works (following the Clarinet Concerto, Night Music and Memento Vitae); that is, dramatic in presentation and abstract because it contains no programme.

Here the dramatic idea concerns the relationship of the solo horn to the orchestral brass (2 trumpets, 1 trombone and 4 horns) which form a kind of concertante group set against the rest of the orchestra. When they play it is to interrupt, distort and, as it were, to mock. Thus they break up the mood of the opening Misterioso, come un sogno with their Parodia, con violenza and later overwhelm the Cappriccioso section with wild fanfares. (The percussion spread around the back of the orchestra also help to build this climax.) For this the trumpets take up new positions. Later the orchestral horns explore greater stereophonic possibilities, when, in the last section, they move so as to surround the solo horn, who mostly directs how they should play. This division of the control between solo horn and conductor allows for ideas of superimposed in many different ways.

The idea of superimposing musical ideas that are contrasted both in substance and tempo comes naturally as one result of having worked in the electronic field. Other tape procedures are also imitated in the Parody sections: slowing down, distortion (prepared piano, harp, muted brass, flutter tongue, clusters), feedback effects, and, of course, the stereophonic possibilities of moving players to different positions in the hall.


Thea Musgrave

  • Ensemble
    National Youth Orchestra of Scotland
    Soloist(s)
    Michael Thompson, horn
    Conductor
    Bramwell Tovey
  • Ensemble
    Scottish National Orchestra / London Symphony Orchestra
    Soloist(s)
    Gervase de Payer (clarinet); Barry Tuckwell (horn); Thea Musgrave (piano); Malcolm Williamson (piano)
    Conductor
    Alexander Gibson / Norman Del Mar / Thea Musgrave
    Lyrita:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 15 FEB 2014
    BBC SO Total Immersion: Thea Musgrave
    Barbican Hall, London
    BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Martin Owen, horn; Martyn Brabbins, conductor
  • 18 JUL 2013
    Radio New Zealand COTW
    New Zealand
    Scottish National Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Thea Musgrave, conductor
  • 05 AUG 2002
    BBC Composer of the Week
    BBC Radio 3
    Scottish National Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Thea Musgrave, conductor
  • 26 MAR 1998
    BBC Composer of the Week
    BBC Radio 3
    BBC SSO
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Thea Musgrave, conductor
  • 14 MAR 1998
    BBC
    National Youth Orchestra of Scotland
    Michael Thompson; Bramwell Tovey, conductor
  • 29 JUL 1997
    Aberdeen, UK
    National Youth Orchestra of Scotland
    Michael Thompson, horn ; Bramwell Tovey, conductor

    Other Dates:
    30 July - Stirling, UK
    31 July - Glasgow, UK
    5 August - Edinburgh, UK
  • 15 NOV 1996
    BBC
    Scottish National Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Thea Musgrave, conductor
  • 20 MAY 1993
    Florida State University International Horn Society Conference
    Tallahassee, Florida, US
    Flanders State University
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Thea Musgrave, conductor
  • 05 SEP 1992
    Edinburgh International Festival
    Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn
  • 17 APR 1989
    BBC
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Jerzy Maksymiuk, conductor
  • 27 FEB 1989
    Roanoke, US
    Roanoke Symphony Orchestra
    Victoria Bond, conductor
  • 10 AUG 1988
    BBC Proms 1988
    Royal Albert Hall, London
    BBC SSO
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn
  • 07 AUG 1988
    BBC Studio Recording
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn
  • 29 MAY 1988
    WNIB, Chicago, US
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn
  • 06 NOV 1987
    Wisconsin, US
    University of Wisconsin-Madison Symphony Orchestra
    Douglas Hill, Horn; Thea Musgrave, conductor
  • 19 JUL 1984
    Dallas, Texas, US
    Dallas Symphony Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Eduardo Mata, conductor
  • 06 APR 1984
    City Hall, Hong Kong
    Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Thea Musgrave, conductor

    Other Dates:
    7 April - City Hall, Hong Kong
  • 08 DEC 1981
    Oakland, California, US
    Oakland Symphony Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Calvin Simmons, conductor

    Other Dates:
    9,10 December - Oakland, California, US
  • 08 NOV 1981
    Pennsylvania, US
    Reading Symphony Orchestra
    Sidney Rothstein, Horn; Robert Fisher, conductor
  • 10 OCT 1980
    Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK
    Scottish National Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Thea Musgrave, conductor

    Other Dates:
    11 October - City Hall, Glasgow, UK
  • 12 JAN 1980
    Houston, Texas, US
    Houston Symphony Orchestra
    Thomas Bacon, Horn; Bill Harwood, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13 January - Houston, Texas, US
  • 12 DEC 1979
    Dayton, US
    Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Charles Wendelken Wilson, conductor
  • 29 OCT 1979
    Illinois, US
    Illinois State Orchestra
    Julian Dawson, conductor
  • 02 DEC 1978
    Cincinnati, US
    College Conservatory of Music Cincinatti
    Teri Murai, conductor
  • 02 DEC 1978
    Spokane, Washington, US
    Spokane Symphony Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Morihiko Nakahara, conductor

    Other Dates:
    3 December - Spokane, Washington, US
  • 01 OCT 1978
    Vienna, Austria
    Scottish National Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Sir Alexander Gibson, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1 October - Brucknerhaus, Linz, Austria
    1 October - Graz, Austria
  • 26 MAY 1978
    BBC Proms 1978
    Royal Albert Hall, London
    BBC SSO
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Karl Anton Rickenbacher, conductor
  • 01 MAR 1978
    Sweden, Europe
    BBC SSO
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; David Atherton, conductor
  • 23 NOV 1977
    Minneapolis, US
    Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Stanislaw Skrowaczewski., conductor

    Other Dates:
    25,26 November - Minneapolis, US
  • 05 SEP 1974
    Edinburgh, UK
    Scottish National Orchestra
    Barry Tuckwell, Horn; Thea Musgrave, conductor

Reviews
...The piece is continuously inventive, elegant, clear – and deeply felt; humane in a special way… But the piece, while hooking firmly to the musical tradition, is never derivative or even particularly referential… Every part of this piece, fascinating and intelligent as it may be, is idiomatic and logical for its setting…
Chales Shere, Tribune [Oakland, California],1/1/0001
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