Sonata for Solo Horn (1993)

Programme Note: John Buckley

Sonata for Solo Horn was commissioned by Marion Doherty and Bernard Hayden for their son Cormac Ó hAodáin on the occasion of his twenty first birthday. The piece was written in 1993 and first performed by Cormac Ó hAodáin in February 1994 at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

In three movements, the sonata sets out to explore the rich diversity of timbre, range and dynamics which characterise the horn.

The first movement consists of four phrases, all of which begin on the same pitch, A. The heroic and wildly dramatic gestures of the first three phrases give way to the reflective lyricism and gently echoing fanfares of the fourth. The second movement offers a hushed and mysterious song, sung in the distance, while the third movement is a light hearted, rhythmically driven scherzo.

The Sonata for Solo Horn is dedicated to Cormac Ó hAodáin.