Sonata for Horn and Piano by Jian-Jun He
Synthesizing traditional Chinese music elements with contemporary vocabulary of Western music, Sonata for Horn and Piano shows the diversity of today’s music. The work, with three movements in a fast-slow-fast scheme, balances expressional and accessible melody with idiomatic and innovative craft for horn. The beginning phrase of the first movement, introduced by the horn, is important thematic material which is employed throughout the entire work. The middle part of the second movement is a passacaglia section where the piano keeps playing a descending melodic segment (with variations); finally, the horn joins the piano, playing the tune together, building to a big climax. In a fast tempo, with a cadenza, the third movement is challenging for horn. Continued ascending glissandos by the horn at the last moment make the ending wild and exciting.
This work won Wyoming’s ARTCORE Composition Competition in spring, 2005.