• Gunther Schuller
  • Five Impromptus (1989)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • ca, 2 vn, va, vc
  • 12 min

Programme Note

Composer Note:
The idea of writing a piece for English Horn and Strings has been with me for at least thirty years and finally came to fruition with the NEA consortium commission of this work by three of the major English Hornists of our day, Thomas Stacy, Bert Lucarelli and James Ostryniec. The work was written in the summer of 1989 and is receiving its world premiere on this occasion.

As the title suggest, the work is in five relatively brief movements, each—although strongly contrasting in mood—having in common a kind of improvisatory, rhapsodic, impromptu quality: recitative-like, declamatory in the first movement; chattily mercurial in the second; the somber, almost dirge-like processional of the third; the agitated unpredictability of the fourth, the tranquil song-like lines of the firth movement, with its “surprising”, boisterous Coda.

— Gunther Schuller