- Thea Musgrave
The Golden Echo I (1986)
- Novello & Co Ltd (World)
Commissioned by the International Horn Society
The sonic possibilities of the horn have for a long time fascinated the composer and have been explored in several works: Music for Horn and Piano and then, later Night Music and the Horn Concerto with their stereophonic effects.
In 1986 a commission from the International Horn Society to write a pair of works for Horns gave another opportunity to explore these ideas. One was to be for solo horn accompanied by sixteen of his colleagues Golden Echo #2; in the companion piece for solo horn Golden Echo #1, a tape replaces the accompanying horns; some sounds imitate the horn, others do not.
Golden Echo #1 is at times lyrical and at times dramatic. To enhance the apparent concerto-like virtuosity and freedom of the soloist which is set against the inevitable rigidity of the tape, the solo part is not written in strict rhythmic notation. The soloist thus apparently dictates the speed of the accompanying tape.
Golden Echo #1 is one of several works written for solo instrument and tape. From One to Another for solo viola (for Peter Mark, 1970) and Orfeo #1 for solo flute (for James Galway, 1975) antedated synthesizers, and in these works the source sounds for the tape were taken from the solo instruments themselves and then manipulated electronically. The source sounds for this work were derived from a synthesizer.