The Spikenard, for unaccompanied horn, by Daniel Grabois
“Spikenard is the name of a species of plant whose aromatic roots were used by the ancient Egyptians as an ingredient in perfume. The title ‘The Spikenard’ refers to the Middle Eastern flavor of the piece (especially the two chant-like sections), but mostly it is just a great word.
The opening section and its reiteration on the second page should be played with great freedom, as if chanting from the top of a tower to the people below. In these sections, a V-shaped breath mark indicates a comfortably taken breath, while an apostrophe-shaped breath mark indicates a shorter break or lift.
The two more rock-like sections should be played fairly aggressively and with great energy. On the sixth line of the second page, in the 7/8 bar, the first three eighth notes should be identical to the triplet in the preceding bar. In this way, the quarter note pulse will become quicker from the 7/8 to the end.
A two-page piece is very cheap to photocopy. Please help support new music by beating back the urge to copy this piece. Thank you.”
- Daniel Grabois
Performance time: approx.
Appropriate for recitals and contests. Contemporary.