Horn Trio: Re-birth was composed for Donald Armstrong (violin) and
his trio for a tour of concerts in 2023. The work is in three movements and explores
the idea of renewal following personal crisis.
This work was inspired by the famous Brahms Horn Trio, and delves into themes of childhood and experience.
Brahms' trio was written in memory of his mother, and quotes a folksong from his childhood. Horn Trio: Re-Birth also reflects
on early experiences, adult realities and celebrates the boundless energy and enthusiasm of children.
The first movement is a reflection on the way life unfolds as a child and the progression to adulthood. A simple, naïve melody on horn at the start provides most of the material for the movement. The slow introduction gradually accelerates into an upbeat allegro, which features two contrasting ideas. Towards the end of the movement, the energy dissipates, providing a mood change that leads into the second movement.
By contrast, the second movement Abyss, has a smoky darkness and reflects on illness and death; the composer had been recovering from a life-threatening illness at the time of composition.
The third movement, Child, references the famous chorus from Handel's Messiah For unto us a child is born, as a symbol of joy and energy. The composer's mother, Anita Ritchie (nee Proctor) was a soprano who frequently performed the solo role in Messiah. The music takes just one phrase from the chorus and weaves many variations on it.
Duration: 20 minutes
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