May Sera, Sera
May será, será (from Maytudes – May 7, 2020)
Duet for English horn and French horn commissioned by Sarah and Erich Peterson
Duet for French horn and Double Bass commissioned by Ellie Jenkins
Duet for French horn and Guitar commissioned by Sarah Schouten
From “Maytudes” – a french horn etude project in consultation with Gail Williams, with one etude created every day during the month of May, 2020
from composer Jim Stephenson (from original Maytudes etude book):
It’s kind of interesting. I start these etudes with a thought in mind – maybe the first few bars or so, and then I never know where it will go. It’s kind of like a slow improvisation, where in addition to suggestions from Gail Williams directing me toward what might be interesting for horn players to work on, I let my ear and curiosity take me wherever the music suggests it might go.
For example, in this particular exercise, I had no idea when I started that the Mahler-esque middle section would appear. But there it presented itself, like an old friend at my door,
popping in with no advance warning. Once it showed up, I had to go with it, but I was then saddened that I couldn’t develop the triplet figures a bit more (the 2nd line), because I kind
of liked those. (Hence the second-to-last bar). But these are just one-page etudes, and so I have to just do what I can. In other words, “Que será, será.”
The “que será será” nomer also applies to the waltz tempo. I could hear this being played in three or in one.And so I leave that up to the player. The middle section should definitely be in one, though.
I was also happy to finally write one of these with some sharps. I felt like many of these were getting a little too “flat”. Hopefully this one will be played with “E’s”.
OK, I better stop…