Chamber Concerto / Concerto de chambre
for horn and percussion / pour cor et percussion

Maya Badian
Maya Badian
Composition Date: 1977
Revision Date: 1994
Duration: 00:10:00
Genre: Mixed Chamber Ensembles (1 to 9 Performers), Duos, Brass / Percussion


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Horn
  • 1 x Percussion
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Programme Note:
Quote from, ”Maya Badian, Her Life and Her Music: A Privilege to Soar” by Popovici, Fred, published by Pro Ars Publications, Ottawa, Canada, 2010: “CHAMBER CONCERTO for Horn and Percussion by Maya Badian is, in the opinion of professionals, one of the finest achievements of Badian’s first period, and a revolutionary composition in 1976. This composition incorporates a series of accomplishments through experiments and musical technologies: The piece has the character of a conversation between two personalities represented by the Horn and the Percussion. It is scored for horn and 21 percussion instruments (one percussionist). Its triadic structure implies some rhetorical procedures: I. - Preludio Funebre; II. – Fuga; III. - Postludio Quasi Recitativo.

I.- Preludio, Funebre, is named with reference to the rise of the timbre of the horn that comes from darkness, symbolized by the manner of orchestrating the indeterminate pitches of the percussion throughout the first movement. The melody of the horn is modal, and makes use of limited pitch formulae, consistently presented with slight rhythmic and register modifications. This technique results in an abstract representation of a sober incantation. For example, the first three notes are repeated in different successions, and using octave displacements, a free change of registers. Total chromaticism is carefully avoided, so that the focus is on the modal character of the melody.

II.- Fuga, the central movement, is structured as a double fugue; it is original in its mark, as usually the fugue is dedicated to keyboard instruments. Unusually, in Badian’s fugue, the rigid concept of this well established polyphonic form combines different timbres from both determined and indeterminate pitch percussion instruments in order to develop its framework. This movement is also entirely modal and incantatory, with repetitions that make use of pivot sounds. The pitches of the entire chromatic scale are used ingenuously, to reinforce the polyphonic profile of this movement. The evolution of the rhythm provides an open window into my way of thinking, with basic rhythmic cells that generate a clear and precise pathway towards the subject of the fugue. These cells are gradually amplified to evolve into increasingly more complex ones, although their incantatory aspects are preserved throughout the entire movement. The timpani - a tuned percussion instrument symbolizing melody and carrying a very simple melodic profile - introduce the subject of the fugue, while the answer belongs to the wood blocks - an indeterminate pitch instrument symbolizing rhythm. It recalls the rhythmic pattern of the initial part. In their musical discourses, horn and percussion seem to be independent from each other, creating a genuine polyphony of organized modal pitches. The horn represents a vox vagans (ethereal voice) that evolves above the organized noises performed by percussion. Horn and percussion together create the entire structure of the Fuga.

III.- Postludio, Quasi Recitativo, the last movement, is written in an economic and concise manner. It emerges from the unison between horn and timpani on the lowest G. The percussion, in tremolo-glissandos, follows the melodic profile presented by the horn, thus creating an ambiguous atmosphere based on the harmonics emerging from the lowest register. The percussion unison then moves to the high register of the vibraphone, reaches the highest C, accomplishing a heterophonic environment around the C axis."

Premiere Information:
1977, Bucharest, Romania
Nicolae Dosa, french horn; Viorica Ciurila, percussion


  • Call Number:
  • MI 8260 B136co
  • Genre:
  • Mixed Chamber Ensembles (1 to 9 Performers), Duos, Brass / Percussion
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • June 20, 1993
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (31 p.) ;
    31 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • I. Preludio funebre -- II. Fuga -- III. Postludio quasi recitativo

    Manuscript deposited in the Fonds Maya-Badian MUS 228, Music Division, Library and Archives Canada.

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Concerto de chambre pour cor et percussion Chamber concerto for horn and percussion by Maya Badian (Score)
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Chamber Concerto / Concerto de chambre for horn and percussion / pour cor et percussion: Score
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Chamber Concerto / Concerto de chambre for horn and percussion / pour cor et percussion
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