• John McCabe
  • Dance-Movements for Horn, Violin and Piano (1967)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • hnpfvn
  • 20 min

Programme Note

Lento moderato - Allegro - Maestoso - Andante con moto - Maestoso -
Allegro vigoroso - Andantino - Allegro vigoroso


Written in 1967 for the Ifor James Horn Trio, and first performed by them at the Wigmore Hall, London, in that year, Dance-Movements is really a fully-fledged trio for the three instruments. The four movements, all of full length, are played without a break, and are closely related - indeed, they are part of the single indivisible unit the whole work comprises, for the changes of tempo and mood are simply changes of emphasis rather than complete switches from one separate piece to the next.

The first movement states the melodic material, which is common to all four movements - here it is given a preludial character, though the music reaches a climax of some intensity. In the second movement the music has the feeling of a scherzo, with a constantly fluctuating rhythmical shape. The third movement is predominantly an Andante con moto, framed by a Maestoso introduction and coda - the main body of the movement is in the form of a series of increasingly hectic or frantic variations on a ground-bass theme stated, for the most part, in the piano's left hand.

This Andante, which is a tribute to the American jazz musician Charles Mingus, is followed by a finale in which the fairly brief central slow section is surrounded by faster music in something approaching rondo form, once again rhythmically fluctuating and demanding real virtuosity from the players.

© 1991 by John McCabe