HUNTER’S MOON by Gilbert Vinter
INSTRUMENTATION: Horn and Orchestra
PUBLISHER: 1941, Hawkes & Sons (London) Ltd., now Boosey and Hawkes Music Publishers
LENGTH: 236 measures, approx. 5m45s
CAN BE FOUND ON IMSLP: No
YOUTUBE: Lisa Bontrager, Hunter’s Moon
SPOTIFY: David Pyatt, British HORN Concertos
iTUNES: Gregg Hustis, Lyrical Gems for Horn
GRADE/DIFFICULTY (1 easy, 6 very difficult): 3.5
EXTENDED TECHNIQUES: Hand Stopping (+), “Wah” Horn, Gliss
RANGE (horn pitch):
Gilbert Vinter (1909 – 1969) was an English conductor and composer, most celebrated for his compositions for brass bands. Hunter’s Moon, originally titled A Date With Diana, was written for John Burden of the London Symphony Orchestra and first performed by him in Devon, England in 1942. Dennis Brain brought the piece to the fore front with frequent performances, a live broadcast, and eventually became the first to record the work. Hunter’s Moon was subsequently arranged by Tommy Dodd for tenor horn in Eb – referred to in the USA as alto horn – for Brian Smith, later Gordon Higginbottom performed this with the James Shepherd Versatile Brass.
The piece opens with a cadenza-like statement which is then thrusted into a brisk 6/8, humorous hunting melody told by an inebriated hunter telling his story of woe. The work then moves into a Lento section emoting a syrupy ballad yearning for love. The theme is filled with jazz inflections in the accompaniment allowing the horn line to soar only to brought back to the hunt which finishes in a fury. The work is also available with a fabulous piano transcription making it a wonderful addition to a recital program.