In this post on arranging back in September, I mentioned two works which I had recently transcribed for horn and piano.
This summer I arranged some music for horn and piano, including Six Studies in English Folk-Song by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and the “Meditation” from Thaïs, by Jules Massenet. There are some beautiful melodies in these pieces, and I thought they might transfer well to the horn. The Vaughan Williams is originally for cello, but there are arrangements for tuba, viola, and other instruments (and now horn). The Massenet is a gorgeous work, and features solo violin. In both cases I ended up altering the original keys, as well as doing some minor editing to make the parts more horn friendly.
In that post I included a recording and score from a movement of the Vaughan Williams, but it slipped my mind at the time to include the Massenet as well. I normally wait several months after a recital to listen to the recording (more on that in a future post), and recently as I was going back through some of the pieces on that particular recital – from August, 2011 – I thought it might be nice to share the recording and score from the Massenet. The original scoring is for solo violin and orchestra, but I worked from a violin and piano version obtained on IMSLP. One of the challenges with arranging or transcribing string music for horn is finding a suitable key. The violin part goes pretty high, and in order to make it work I brought the key down an octave and a fifth from the original. This puts the piano part in a pretty low range, but it seemed to balance out ok with the horn. There are some octave transpositions in a few places, and many passages really work out the low register. The piece is a nice closer, or perhaps an encore, which is where I programmed it – and aside from the slightly tired chops, I think it came off pretty well. Feel free to download the score and perform it, and also feel free to tweak any of the passages if necessary. The pedal D at the end is optional! Here’s the recording, with Richard Seiler on piano.
And here’s the piano score and solo horn part.
Meditation_Score **Now published through IHS Online Music Sales
Meditation_Horn **Now published through IHS Online Music Sales