Bent Lorentzen Hunting Concerto (1996) for horn solo, gun shot, oboe and strings
In the good old days, buglers were always present at great huntings. A festive and fine idea. Originally the horns were used for spreading words of command over distances greater than the human voice was capable of. It was signals such as "Uncouple the dogs", "The roe is dead", or a message to
the beaters: "Move forward".
The concerto was commissioned by the "Slotsgruppen" (a group of musicians from Copenhagen symphony orchestras) for a first performance at the royal castle of Charlottenlund, north of Copenhagen in the cultural year of 1996.
My working title was at the beginning 'Charlottenlund Concerto', in the style of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, and what was then a more obvious starting point, combining the two, than that of the horn signals of the royal huntings. The idea developped towards a horn concerto. At one point I even discussed with the horn player Preben Iwan the use of a genuine bugle, but it was left at that because a bugle only plays in one key, which everybody would soon enough get bored listening to. And furthermore, the modern ear of the listener hears some of the natural harmonics as very much out of tune. Thus, the concerto is written for a well-tempered French horn of today, but not completely avoiding the use of the odd and weird natural harmonics.