wild horn whose voice the woodland fills

by Pamela J. Marshall

for 8 horns

Duration ~5.5 min.


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“wild horn whose voice the woodland fills”, contemporary music for horn ensemble, is filled with imagery of the outdoors.

The title is a line from the poem “Sunrise on the Hills” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The music reflects my love for the hills, forests, orchards and open country west of suburban Boston. The music is full of echoes and imitation with flowing phrases cascading through the ensemble. Individual voices become entwined with other voices in intricate overlays. Bird calls of the white throated sparrow and chickadee are part of the melodic material.

There are two offstage parts that expand the space for the music. They recall hunting horns and music echoing from hill to hill. If there are more than eight horn players available, then the offstage parts can be covered by separate players. Extra copies of the parts are provided.


“wild horn…” is dedicated to the memory of Jeanne Traphagan, a member of Esprit de Cor in Lexington, MA.


Listen to the premiere. The ensemble is Esprit de Cor of Lexington, MA, conducted by David Archibald.