• Thea Musgrave
  • The Golden Echo II (1986)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the International Horn Society

  • 16hn
  • horn
  • 14 min

Programme Note

Golden Echo was written in 1986 in response to a commission from the International Horn Society. They requested two works, a work for solo horn and tape (Golden Echo I), and also a companion piece for solo horn accompanied by sixteen of his colleagues.

The whole idea of this work was to find a dramatic form that would make full use of these unusual sonorities. The solo horn leads and therefore he also functions as a conductor. His part is notated into all the other parts so that he can be easily followed, even when the other horns are placed at some distance from each other.

The solo horn at first engages in a dialogue with two horns, and then four horns who are all seated on stage. Then, one by one, four other horns who are placed around the auditorium join in.

Then distant horns are heard, some from back stage and some from the lobby. These eight horns gradually approach and finally make a dramatic musical entrance.

The solo horn is now surrounded by his sixteen colleagues in a large circle and interplay is made of motives and chords echoing between platform and hall.