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Audio

Sergio Delgado

Sonatina for Unaccompanied Horn

Commissioned, premiered, and recorded by Parker Nelson

Aaron Houston

Jam and Toast

When I was asked to compose a work for unaccompanied French Horn based on funk music, I was extremely excited. To my knowledge, nobody had really combined those two elements and I was immediately interested in how the sounds of the horn would combine with the riffs and grooves of funk music. A couple days later I thought, “How in the world am I going to make these totally different ideas work?” Initially, I tried to make the composition feel like listening to the radio on a morning drive. I wanted to mimic the sounds of flipping through radio stations with funk and soul tunes interrupting each other as you go along...and this was a disaster. After attempting several different ways to force this piece together, I decided to scrap the whole thing and start afresh with a new idea. I sat down with a guitar, turned on an Earth, Wind, and Fire playlist, and just started to jam with the music. Jam and Toast is the result of this jam session between myself and some imaginary funk band I played with that day. It is a single performer having fun playing off his or her own ideas ‒ first providing a gentle bass groove, slowly filling in the gaps with some melodic ideas, and finally launching into screaming solo lines in the upper register. Jam and Toast asks the performer to be a one-man band, be a little funky, and put on a show...even if he or she is just having a solo jam session with no one watching.
- Aaron Houston

Commissioned, premiered, and recorded by Parker Nelson

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Horn Concerto, K. 412

Although often listed as his first horn concerto, K. 412 was actually the last of the four concerti composed for Joseph Leutgeb. As the soloist and friend of Mozart's aged, his endurance waned and Mozart accommodated by lowering the key from E-flat (as with the other 3 concerti) to D. The work also only has 2 movements rather than the traditional 3, with the Rondo never completed by Mozart himself but rather, two versions created by Mozart's student, Franz Xaver Süssmayr. One version was pieced together through fragments of material that Mozart had intended to be used for the concerto, while the other was mostly written by Süssmayr himself using material that may have been intended for Mozart's Requiem.
The score famously contained jokes and notes from Mozart to the Leutgeb as not so subtle nods to a close friend written in a variety of colors. They read as follows:
For you, Mr. Donkey—Come on—quick—get on with it—like a good fellow—be brave—Are you finished yet?—for you—beast—oh what a dissonance—Oh!—Woe is me!!—Well done, poor chap—oh, pain in the balls!—Oh God, how fast!—you make me laugh—help—take a breather—go on, go on—that's a little better—still not finished?—you awful swine!—how charming you are!—dear one!—little donkey!—ha, ha, ha—take a breath!—But do play at least one note, you prick!—Aha! Bravo, bravo, hurrah!—You're going to bore me for the fourth time, and thank God it's the last—Oh finish now, I beg of you!—Confound it—also bravura?—Bravo!—oh, a sheep bleating—you're finished?—Thank heavens!—Enough, enough!

Parker Nelson, Horn

Michael Lewanski, Conductor
DePaul University Concert Orchestra

DePaul University Concert Hall, June 3, 2016