About this work:
Composed in 1996, Peroration for solo horn is one of the most recent in a series of pieces for solo instruments which I began to write in 1972 and have added to from time to time since then. Although most are quite short and tend to appear in groups of two or three so that they may be conveniently included on concert programs, a few, like Peroration, are longer, broader in scope, and designed to stand alone.
As its title suggests, Peroration uses devices that can be thought of as rhetorical. It is like a speech delivered to a large crowd in which the speaker seeks at once to enthrall and to persuade. It is a speech that at different times urges its listeners, cajoles them, or incites them. Although no new or unusual playing techniques are required, a performance of Peroration is both physically and emotionally demanding throughout its relatively short duration of approximately five minutes.
Peroration's clearly defined sections, each based on a sharply contrasting melodic idea, can be represented by the letters ABCAB. That the piece ends with an extended, varied reprise of the quiet, thoughtful B section preceded by a much curtailed recollection of the A section with its almost aggressive exhortations should be understood as having to do with the piece's artistic intentþas indeed should everything else that may be observed while listening to it.
The first performance of Peroration was given by David Jolley at Queens College (CUNY) on November 4, 1998.
Version: solo French horn
Year composed: 1996
Ensemble type: Solo instrument, non-keyboard:Horn in F
Instrumentation: 1 Horn in F