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Houghton Horns

Sonata in Five Movements for Trombone and Piano by Martin Ellerby

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The work is designed as a recital piece, the five movements comprising an arch like structure with relationships between movements I and V and II and IV respectively, leaving the central 3rd movement as a more extended lyrical interlude. The subtitles are in French and should be pronounced as such. The reason for this is purely that the premiere performance was scheduled to take place in France enabling the composer a little personal amusement whilst engaged on the work's composition! Also, the spontaneous use of parody and music hall mannerisms has particularly 'Les Six' connotations even though concocted here by an English composer.

1. Déclamation

An agitato introductory movement with two contrasting subjects, the first marcato and the second delicato.

2. Burlesque

The soloist is muted throughout in a scherzo quasi una marcia movement that includes two parody moments, the first a march, the second a waltz.

3. Endurance

A lamentoso movement that grows in intensity from its gentle origins to reach a central more passionate outburst based upon the traditional Dies Irae melody.

4. Variété

This second scherzo is marked molto ritmico and is also muted throughout for the soloist. Two highly contrasting ideas provide the material: the first edgy yet being capable of being recast as a jazz waltz. The second is marked misterioso and is exactly that!

5. Affirmation

A return to the opening agitato style though the material is new with funky elements meeting rhythmic properties and much use of glissando in the solo part. A coda of increasing intensity brings the work to a dramatic conclusion.


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* Note: Houghton Horns is not in any way affiliated with the creators of this video. We included the video to give you a general taste of what the piece sounds like, but these artists' interpretation of the piece may differ from your sheet music.