PARTITA by Verne Reynolds
INSTRUMENTATION: Horn and Piano
PUBLISHER: 1964, Southern Music Company
Movement 1: Malinconia — 49 measures, approx. 4m20s
Movement 2: Caccia — 256 measures, approx. 3m15s
Movement 3: Aria — 91 measures, approx. 6m00s
Movement 4: Alla Marcia — 233 measures, approx. 3m40s
CAN BE FOUND ON IMSLP: No
YOUTUBE: Gail Williams
SPOTIFY: Gail Williams, 20th Century Settings
iTUNES: Janine Gaboury-Sly, Verne Reynolds – Music for Horn
GRADE/DIFFICULTY (1 easy, 6 very difficult): 5
EXTENDED TECHNIQUES: Hand Stopping (+)
RANGE (horn pitch):
Verne Reynolds (1926 – 2011) is considered one of the greatest horn pedagogues of the twentieth century. His platform at the Eastman School of Music gave him the fantastic opportunity to influence the world of the horn in amazing yet complicated ways. His 48 Etudes present a fantastic approach and breadth to non-traditional, melodic and rhythmic design requiring an intense yet flexible technical approach during study. His influences encompass early twentieth century composers like Bartok, Hindemith, and Britten. Reynolds was a Fulbright scholar leading him to study at the Royal College of Music in London studying with Frank Probyn and, on occasion, Dennis Brain. Reynolds played in the Cincinnati Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the American Woodwind Quintet before joining the faculty at Eastman and recording extensively with the Eastman Brass Quintet.
The Partita for Horn and Piano is presented in four movements recalling the tempo and style contract of the 18th century partita suite mixed with his consistent compositional use of the perfect fifth, tritone and semitone. The Malinconia movement is a flexible and free lament which leads directly into the second movement, Caccia. This movement visits the roots of the traditional hunting horn. The Aria movement is the lyrical portion of the composition presenting tender, melodic fragments traded between the horn and piano. The Partita finishes with the Alla Marcia which is a mix of call and response, lyricism recalling previous material, ending in a invigorating climax.