Posted By kerryturner on May 10, 2011
I am happy to report that I have completed my latest commissioned work for large horn ensemble. The four movement work is entitled “The Seasons” and the movements are, obviously Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. Mr. Kenichi Shimizu, who conducts the “TAMA Katatsumuri no kai” horn ensemble in Japan contacted me a couple of years ago about the possibility of commissioning a large, multi-movement work, which would be for three separate horn ensembles of different levels: professional level, advanced student or amateur level, and beginner or “easy” level, and percussion. The deadline was set for May 8, 2011, and my copyist, Mr. Geoffrey Winter and I did indeed deliver on time. This is what I have written about the work, which will appear in the score liner notes:
“It has been the desire of the composer for quite some time to write a work based on the four seasons. In Mr. Turner’s home in Luxembourg in Central Europe, three of the seasons are extremely pronounced. Spring, in all it’s verdant glory, is an uncommon relief after the bitter and snowy Winters. And in the Autumn, the trees burst with radiant colors of red, yellow, green and brown before the great multitude of leaves literally rain down from the trees. Mr. Turner traditionally spends his Summers abroad, either in New York City, Italy or Spain. During his holiday in these places, he can enjoy the heat of the Summer, the relaxing, lazy days, as well as the exotic feel that comes with traveling there.
The first movement is “Autumn”. From the first measure, the beautiful colors of Autumn splash onto the page. The main theme is melancholy and wistful. The second section of this movement, represents the excitement and positive mood of either returning back to school, or back to the job after a long vacation. This is followed by the dance of the leaves in the wind. As the late Autumn arrives, it is time for the millions of leaves to fall, drifting to the ground, until the trees stand bare and melancholy.
“Winter” opens with the sound of sleigh bells. The main theme of this movement is in the style of “Troika”. It is cold, rainy and grey. When the snow begins to fall, it falls in thick, wet blankets and piles high up on the ground. At last, when the snowfall has ceased, the scene outside is at once dreary and beautiful. Everything is white, except maybe the faint glow of a street lamp.
“Spring” opens with the sound of rain drops, at first light and then, growing louder, it turns into a real Spring rainfall with distant thunder. The melody is, however, youthful and full of hope. Following this, the listener witnesses the spectacular blooming of thousands of flowers, grasses and leaves. This section climaxes in a burst of color and life.
For the composer, “Summer” has always remained his favorite season. Not only the Summer heat, but the reunion with family members as well the exotic travel have always held a very special place in his heart. Trying to represent all of these elements and emotions in a horn ensemble piece proved to be difficult. Mr. Turner was composing this work in the heart of Winter, and the joy of Summer was really nothing more than a memory. In contemplating this, and given the fact that the work was commissioned by the honorable Japanese Horn Ensemble TAMA Katatsumuri no Kai, it seemed logical to use the famous Japanese folksong “Natsu no Omoide” or “Summer Memories” as the principal theme.
This work was conceived and created to be played by a large horn ensemble comprised of three choirs of different levels of difficulty:
Choir 1- Advanced level, to be played by 4 to 8 players.
Choir 2- Intermediate level, to be played by 4 to 8 players.
Choir 3- Easy level, to be played by 4 to 16 players. ”
A publisher for this major work for horn choir has not yet been determined. The “TAMA Katatsumuri no kai” retains rights to the work until May 2013. For those of you who may be interested in a similar large scale work for horn ensemble, please check out my work for three antiphonal horn quartets and percussion called “Bronze Triptych”. This work was commissioned by the horn section of the Dallas Symphony and is featured on the “Texas Horns” CD (Crystal Records CD774), a CD recorded by the combined sections of the Dallas and Houston horn sections. The work is published by Patti’s Prints, a link for which can be found on the AHQ website, www.hornquartet.com.