Three Impromptus


For unaccompanied french horn or horn and piano.
For unaccompanied trumpet or trumpet and piano.

[waveplayer ids=”9056,9057,9058″]



Three Impromptus (1999)

for unaccompanied trumpet, or trumpet and piano
or unaccompanied french horn, or french horn and piano

duration:  4’30

Originally composed for Amy Handelman Premiered (french horn version) at the 1999 International Horn Society Convention, Amy Handelman, soloist

These three “Impromptus” were originally written as horn etudes for Amy Handelman while we were both performing with the Des Moines Metro Opera. Due to our close proximity of our individual housing (in dorm rooms!), I had the pleasant and often occurrence of hearing Amy practice. It was during one of these practice sessions that I became inspired to quickly compose an etude for her (Impromptu #1). I composed it from start to finish without stopping so that I might get the chance to hear it right away, and she did not let me down. To my delight, she liked it and immediately scheduled it for performance on an upcoming recital. Subsequently, she then asked me to compose some more “etudes” to be performed at the 1999 International Horn Society Convention, but under strict guidelines that I write them as I had the first – from start to finish without stopping. After their completion, I decided to add piano accompaniments, allowing future performers the choice to fit their performing situations.

The Music:

Impromptus #1 and #3 should be played as quickly as the player’s fingers and chops (and also the accompanist’s) will allow. I wrote them quickly, and that spirit should be carried into the performance. Impromptu #2 does pose a slight dilemma, with the quick mute (or stopped horn) changes. I shall leave these to the player’s discretion. I prefer the muted sound, but if it creates too many pauses in the music, it should then be avoided. If the mute is discarded all together, those sections should be played with an echo effect.

Jim Stephenson

Additional information


Featured Instrument


Type of Purchase


Type of Work