Sonata, for horn and piano, by Stephen Shewan
The SONATA FOR HORN AND PIANO was begun in 1991. While the composer was a Doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music studying with Samuel Adler, he penned the first movement as a stand-alone piece entitled Epilogue for Horn and Piano. Two additional movements were added in 2003 to create the SONATA as a 21st birthday present for Shewan's niece, Emily, who premiered the work in April 2004 at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York.
Much of the piece is generated from material of the two main themes in the opening movement. The second movement transforms those ideas into lyrical and passionate neo-romantic music, whereas the final movement breaks out into some sort of Latin dance/music/rock and roll, driving to a wild climax at the end. During the third movement, the hornist plays with the third slide on the B-flat horn removed for special percussion-like effects. There is even a nod to 1970's popular music at the end where the hornist double tongues rapidly going back and forth between playing the notes on the horn and playing them on the open slide. It sounds a little like the special effect affectionately known to musicians of that era as "ala Shaft," only there is no wah-wah pedal. The final passage brings back the opening them to the first movement in a dramatic manner tipping the hat to the ending of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. "
Mvt I: 4:00
Mvt II: 5:00
Mvt III: 4:45
Total performance time approx.: 13:45
Program in a recital or concert as a show piece. Difficult passages and range, some extended techniques, but well within the advancing collegiate student's level.