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Morpheus: A Fantasy for Horn and Piano
Piano Accompaniment, Horn in F - Advanced Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Dylan Dukat. 21st Century. Score, Set of Parts. 32 pages. Published by D. Dukat (S0.665443).
Item Number: S0.665443
This particular work was written for Isaac Newman, a horn player and close friend of mine from the Crane School of Music, who commissioned me to write him a piece to perform on his junior year 30 minute recital. This is my first foray into writing solowork for horn; a surprising fact seeing as I am a horn player myself, and one would think I’d’ve written for my own instrument first. But for so long I just couldn’t find a way to highlight the beauty of the instrument in a soloistic style.
Morpheus: A Fantasy for Horn and Piano is meant to take listeners on a journey, both harmonically and emotionally. The name is derived from that of the Greek God, known to change form willingly. The suffix -mophos, from which Morpheus was derived, came to become the root for our word metamorphosis. Just as the butterfly experiences a drastic change, so does this piece, its listeners, and its performers.
Morpheus begins with a touching introduction that represents our youth and innocence. At this point, we are but a young caterpillar experiencing the world for the first time. As the piece progresses, it carries into a second section: a quasi-scherzo in F minor. This change is felt both in the character of the piece and that of the performer; this 2nd section is packed with simultaneous wonder and fear. It’s energetic yet a feeling of pain emerges. Caterpillars melt in their cocoons, and this cannot be painless, and thus the pangs of changes are evident through this movement. Soon, though, the scherzo opens into an unrelenting 5/4 Clave figure. This 3rd movement is fierce, driving, and yet still has a pang of light and hope. As a new butterfly emerges, the world feels so different. New colors, new anatomy, new fears and challenges in a daunting new world. Everything feels so foreign, as if the old caterpillar has been left behind. The performers and audience have emerged as a new being. Yet, we have not fundamentally changed. While we appear different, we are still the same. Demonstrated through a recapitulation of the first section, a feeling of reflectivity is created. Alterations in the first theme show that we have grown throughout this journey, but the steady feeling created by the return shows that we are still the same, and we have simply gained new experiences that changed our outlooks. We have experienced a metamorphosis, just as a caterpillar does when it becomes a butterfly.
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