Attitudes, for unaccompanied horn
by Jeffrey Agrell
Attitudes for solo horn is a bit different from other pieces for solo horn, primarily because the composer believes that performers are intelligent and creative enough to be asked to contribute to the piece in performance. This piece gives contemporary performers a rare chance to create a unique performance. There is much pressure in the classical domain toward conformity and attempting to do it exactly the same every time, and toward honoring the ideas of everyone else—the great performers and performances, or “the composer’s intentions.”
My feeling is: don’t do it, not in this case, anyway. Let me tell you this composer’s intentions. My intention is that this piece contain opportunities for the expression and imagination of the player. Thus each movement has a window for the player’s creative powers to reign in the form of an improvised cadenza. Don’t run away yet: the process is made easier by examples and by limitations that I set: 1. Use the notes given 2. Play in the style of the piece thus far. Since many players may be trepidatious of this new creative opportunity, I would like to offer some tips to make the improvisations easier. I think that given these suggestions and the examples following, anyone capable of performing the written part of the piece can play the unwritten parts of the piece as well.