In Memoriam: Nine Elegiac Works for Horn, 1943–2004Author InfoSocial Media
2010, DMA, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music : Horn.
September 2007 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the death of one of the twentieth century’s greatest hornists, Dennis Brain. It also marked the sixth anniversary of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The horrific events of 11 September stunned the nation; the death of Brain at the age of thirty-six in a car accident affected his family, music lovers, and musicians. Composers have memorialized both tragedies in elegies for horn. In fact, a wide variety of elegiac works composed during the latter half of the twentieth century feature horn.
This study investigates eight such memorial works for horn: Jeffrey Agrell’s September Elegy (2001), dedicated to the victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks; Hermann Baumann’s Elegia for Natural Horn (1984), dedicated to Francesco Raselli; Adrian Cruft’s Elegy for Horn and Strings (1967), dedicated to Dennis Brain; James Funkhouser’s In Memoriam (2004), dedicated to Elaine Crawford; Douglas Hill’s Elegy for Horn Alone (1998), dedicated to C. Norene Hill; Ryan Nowlin’s Elegy for Horn and Piano (2004), dedicated to Herbert Spencer; Francis Poulenc’s Elegie for Horn and Piano (1957), dedicated to Dennis Brain; and William Presser’s Elegy and Caprice(1997), dedicated to Marvin Howe. The author utilized score study, composer interviews, and musical analysis to study each work’s background, technical issues, and emotional impact. This study highlights similarities among memorial works for horn as they relate to each other and to two canonic works: the third movement of Brahms’s Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano, Op. 40 (1865), which the composer wrote as a memorial to his mother, and Britten’s Serenade for Horn, Tenor and Strings (1943), which includes an “Elegy” and “Dirge” movement and has an overall theme of death. This study also emphasizes the cathartic nature of elegies for composers, performers, and audiences as reflected in the stages of grief defined by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler in their book On Grief and Grieving (2005).
bruce mcclung, PhD (Committee Chair)
Randy Gardner, BM (Committee Member)
Alan Siebert, MM (Committee Member)
horn; elegy; Dennis Brain; Benjamin Britten; Francis Poulenc; Douglas Hill
Baker, S. (2010). In Memoriam: Nine Elegiac Works for Horn, 1943–2004. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Baker, Sherry. "In Memoriam: Nine Elegiac Works for Horn, 1943–2004." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2010. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 10 Mar 2014.
Baker, Sherry H. "In Memoriam: Nine Elegiac Works for Horn, 1943–2004." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2010. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/