RHYNIE MAN - Richard Ingham, Laudatio - Bernhard Krol
Anna Douglass on Horn


RHYNIE MAN by Richard Ingham and Anna Douglass
Cover Design by Leopard Rock Design

RHYNIE MAN was written in 2009 for BBC Young Musician 2010 brass category winner Anna Douglass. She gave the first performance on 24 June 2010 as part of the Lanercost Festival.

The piece opens with a virtuosic exploration of the possibilities of rhythmic drive and tonal colours on the French horn, before moving into long sustained passages of lyrical melody. Incorporated into the piece are rapid shifts of register, dynamics and muting options, making great demands on the performer's stamina. The inspiration for the piece, Rhynie Man, is an outstanding example of Pictish art, created near the village of Rhynie in Aberdeenshire, probably in the eighth century. It is a rare example of a single figure occupying most of the space on a stone. Seeing a stone like this makes us wonder what life was like so long ago; yet the village of Rhynie hosts also the discovery site of the world's oldest fossil insect, evidence of the earliest known terrestrial ecosystem in the world, dating from 400 million years ago. As music is an art form which exists in real time, composers have long been fascinated by the depiction of time itself. Thus Rhynie Man begins with an inhuman section of pure rhythm, struggling for recognition, before leaping forward to the relatively modern era of the Picts, and the grandeur of the man himself.
[duration 6:20]

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Bonus Track: Laudatio (1966) Bernhard Krol (b. 1920)

A piece titled ‘Praise’ can have many different interpretations. Some see this powerfully emotive work for solo horn as an anonymous personal eulogy, others as a spiritual song of praise. An opening motif is revisited throughout the piece to punctuate the wildly, schizophrenically diverse episodes. The range of the piece encompasses fanfare, contemplation, despair, anger, and yet manages to finish peacefully with a return to the opening motif.

Like Strauss, Krol was also familiar with the horn, as between 1945 and 1967 he was a horn player with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. Krol studied composition with Schoenberg's pupil, Josef Rufer in Vienna.

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