horn & piano
II. As War Is Engaged
III. Quiet Descending
Composed for Emily Hush in 2011, Horn of Valere showcases both the lyrical, atmospheric, and virtuosic aspects of the horn and piano as a chamber duo. The work draws programmatic inspiration from Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time, in the second book of which a great battle takes place between “good” and “evil”, with the legendary Horn of Valere (itself drawn from Norse mythology) playing a central role.
Dawn evokes a new day being born in deceptive calm, where time seems suspended yet heavy with portent. As War Is Engaged depicts the first stages of battle, while Quiet Descending takes us away from the heat of war to a scene where the legendary horn is sounded, summoning the dead heroes of legend, who emerge from the mist in time to turn the tide of battle. Ragnarök returns us to the scene of war, playing it out to its inevitable conclusion.
Horn of Valere was premiered by horn player Emily Hush and pianist Philip Chiu on April 15, 2011 in Redpath Hall, Montreal, Canada. It has been featured in the 2011 Composers Now Festival in New York City.