Echo

Ensemble: French horn solo
Duration: 7:30 minutes

Program Notes:

Echo (1996) for solo horn is based on many levels of interpretation of the term, taken originally from a horn technique called echo muting.  The large scale organization of the work can be seen as a metaphor for the myth of Echo and Narcissus.  The first motive in the work is extreme, rhetorical and narcissistic for the player, yet lacks depth.  The second is based on static tones restricted to timbral changes, and reinterprets the material emotionally and syntactically and yet remains limited in ability to communicate.  The two themes of musical rhetoric and musical emotion are repeated constantly yet remain separated throughout the work, locked in a frustrating and ultimately doomed relationship. In a purely musical sense, the echo idea is formally interpreted in the three large sections of the work, and in the four smaller subsections of each of these, each subsequent formal section a variation or repeat of its respective earlier section(s).  There is more classical echoing on the local level in the development and variation of motives, rhythms and timbral material, and the formal sections themselves are built around the pitches E, C and H.  On yet another level, the acoustic and psychological echoing possibilities are exploited through syncopated rests and repeated material throughout the work.  Further, the work echoes many ideas developed in my recent works.

Echo was written in the Spring of 1996 at the request of Paul Basler, who helped greatly with the creation and technical aspects of the work, and provided the inspiration for the work.

Premiere: October 1996
Paul Basler, horn
SCI Region IV Conference
St. Petersburg, FL
Commissioner: Paul Basler