EN FORET, Op. 40 by Eugene Bozza
INSTRUMENTATION: Horn and Piano
PUBLISHER: 1941Alphonse Leduc, Paris
LENGTH: 187 Measures. Approximately 7 minutes
CAN BE FOUND ON IMSLP: No
YOUTUBE: Bernhard Scully
SPOTIFY: Barry Tuckwell, French Music for Horn and Piano
iTUNES: David Cooper, A French Horn and Piano Collaboration
GRADE/DIFFICULTY (1 easy, 6 very difficult): 4
EXTENDED TECHNIQUES: Hand Stopping (+), Strong Lip Trills, and Straight Mute
RANGE (horn pitch):
Eugene Bozza’s (1905 – 1991) En Foret is a staple in modern horn repertoire. It was intended as a composition competition entry during his graduate studies at the Paris Conservatory. Bozza was considered to be brilliant and demonstrated so by taking first prize in violin, conducting, and composition while at the conservatory. He later became the conductor of the Paris Opera-Comique and then went on to become the director of Ecole Nacionale de Musique, retiring in 1975.
The piece demonstrates an athletic yet natural quality to the audience. Presented in an arch form, the opening material is exciting, intense, and to the fore with heavily accented passages and sweeping use of the harmonic series. The second section brings the horn back to its roots with enchanting hunting calls in a recitative fashion over a sea of impressionism played by the piano. The third section is a lyrical portrait which eventually gives way to the fanfare hunting section once more. The first section comes back to bring the piece full circle and finishes with an exciting codetta.
Paul Griffiths has written of Bozza’s compositions, “His works reveal melodic fluency, an elegance of structure, and a consistently sensitive concern of instrumental capabilities.” If you need an opener for your recital, this is it!