David Sampson (1992)
Sonata Forty, for horn and piano, was commissioned
by Scott Brubaker and the International Horn Society. Completed on February
2, 1992, the title and composition were inspired by my fortieth birthday.
This birthday along with my twenty-first and thirtieth, was a transitional
one. As it approached, I found myself becoming increasingly agitated
with thoughts of dreams unfulfilled, countless failures, missed opportunities
and questions concerning what direction my life should take now. Even
though I had read that this taking stock period was very
common around this age, it surprised me that the emotions were so powerfully
disturbing. I spent a great deal of effort sorting through basic questions
of time, vulnerability and choices.
When I began writing this horn sonata
for Scott, this working out process flowed directly into the composition
and presented me with a natural form. The movements portray the progression
from crisis to inner doubts and shadows to the cherished memories and
finally to a resolution of building on the past and moving on. Coincidently,
I found out later that Scott also celebrated his fortieth birthday around
the time I was writing this work. It makes the title and subject matter
seem even more appropriate.
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