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The horn music of Bernhard Heiden.

As horn players, we are fortunate to have both a bountiful orchestral repertoire and many fine solo and chamber works by such luminaries as Mozart, Brahms, Strauss, and Hindemith. In addition to these well-known standards of the literature, we should acknowledge the contributions of less prominent composers who have taken a special interest in our instrument and provided us with many valuable additions to our repertoire. One of these composers is the late Bernhard Heiden, a relatively unstudied twentieth-century composer who made significant contributions to the horn literature, including a sonata, a concerto, a quintet for horn and strings, a piece for tuba and nine horns, a set of horn duets, a horn quartet, and most recently a work for horn, violin, cello, and piano. (1) The neoclassical approach of these works reflects both the foundation of his musical education in Germany and his later musicological training in the United States, but they also incorporate a number of modern techniques and innovative features.


Several of Heiden's works have become quite popular with hornists. Most have been recorded at least once, and several artists have recorded the Sonata, which also appears frequently on recital programs. Heiden's horn music covers a wide time span, starting with the Sonata in 1939 and ending with the Quartet for Piano, Violin, Cello, and Horn in 1985. All but that final piece are available from Associated Music Publishers, which is now a division of G. Schirmer. In addition to investigating the individual compositions, this article attempts to answer certain questions regarding the entire group of works: What prompted Heiden to write so many pieces for horn throughout his career? Did he have a special interest in the instrument, perhaps through close association with one or more players? Who were some of his primary influences? Because the published material on Heiden is limited, much of the research has been based on interviews with the composer himself and study of the music.

Heiden was born in Frankfurt, Germany on August 24, 1910 and received his first musical training there as a young child. From the beginning of his study, his musical activity took several forms, including Dalcroze exercises in ear training, dictation, and rhythm as well as piano lessons, and later study of the violin and the clarinet. Probably equally important to the composer's development was the musical environment provided by his mother, a fine violinist, pianist, and member of a quartet with Paul Hindemith's brother Rudolph on cello. Bernhard began composing short piano pieces and settings of songs at the age of six and progressed to more complex works, such as trios and quartets, while still in his teens. By that time he was studying piano with Emma Luebbecke-Job, who knew Hindemith and premiered some of Hindemith's piano works. Heiden also did some conducting at the Gymnasium and took theory and harmony lessons from Bernhard Sekles, director of Hoch's Conservatory in Frankfurt. Sekles suggested that he also study the clarinet with Wilhelm Conrad. (2)

Heiden attended the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin from 1929 until 1933, where he studied composition with Hindemith, conducting with Julius Pruwer, piano with Max Trapp, and score reading with George Szell and Alexander von Zemlinsky. Success in his compositional studies came slowly at first, but Heiden overcame a number of obstacles and in 1933, his final year at the Hochschule, his Piano Concerto was the last to win the Mendelssohn Prize in Composition, Germany's most prestigious award at the time, before it was abolished by the Nazis. Entries to the competition were judged by a committee which did not know the identities of the students who had submitted them, and Heiden, who was Jewish, considered it a "bureaucratic slip" that he won when the award was under Nazi control. (3)

Nevertheless, that year was not entirely pleasant for Heiden, who encountered anti-Semitism at the Hochschule after the Nazis came to power in 1933. One orchestra member refused to play during his conducting exam and a composition student did not want his name to appear on the same recital program with Heiden's. (4) Following his graduation, Heiden remained in Berlin where he played clarinet in the Jewish Kulturbund-Orchester, conducted by Joseph Rosenstock, and continued showing his music to Hindemith. In 1934 he married Cola de Joncheere, a Dutch pianist he had met at the Hochschule, and the couple immigrated to Detroit the following year. Heiden's sister, Margaret Sterne (1902-1977), who edited several periodicals before becoming a professor of history at Wayne State University, had been persuaded by her husband to emigrate in 1925 and they had settled in Detroit, leading Bernhard and Cola to later choose that city. Another sister, Ella Auerbach (1900-1999), the first woman lawyer to practice before Germany's high court, also followed Margaret to America. Last to arrive were their parents, Martha and Ernst Heiden, in 1940. Ernst (whose surname was originally Levi before he changed it to a shortened version of Martha's maiden name due to anti-Semitism) had been a juvenile judge in Germany and was both an avid art collector and a patron of Expressionist artists, some of whom were on retainer and some of whom lived in his house in Frankfurt at times. The most famous of these artists was Max Beckmann. Ernst and Martha managed to bring most of their extensive collection to the United States, probably by bribing officials with pieces from the collection according to Margaret's son, Karl Sterne. Martha continued to play the violin in New York, giving concerts at her retirement home. (5)

While in Detroit, Heiden participated in a variety of musical activities including teaching at the Art Center Music School; presenting harpsichord, piano, and chamber music recitals; supplying incidental music for theatrical productions at Wayne State University; serving as staff arranger for the local radio station WJR; and organizing and conducting the very successful Detroit Chamber Orchestra, which consisted mainly of musicians from the disbanded Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 1941 he became a naturalized American citizen.

This phase of the composer's life ended in 1943, when he was inducted into the Armed Forces, where he held the position of Assistant Band Director of the 445th Army Band and arranged over 100 pieces for that ensemble. Soon after being released from the army in 1945, Heiden decided to leave Detroit and acquire a master's degree at Cornell University in order to qualify for a secure faculty position at an American university. Because no composition degree was offered by Cornell at the time, he majored in musicology and earned the esteem of his major professor, Donald J. Grout. In 1946, Heiden accepted a position at Indiana University, where he remained until his retirement as an emeritus professor in 1981, teaching courses in composition, counterpoint, score reading, and twentieth-century analytic techniques, and serving for many years as the head of the Composition Department. Following his retirement from teaching, he continued to compose and "remained an active figure in the IU and Bloomington music scene." (6) He died at the age of 89 on April 30, 2000, a year after the death of his wife. (7)

Heiden's contributions and legacy as a composer and teacher were assessed in a quote from the program of his Memorial Concert held at Auer Hall, Indiana University School of Music, in Bloomington, Indiana on September 18, 2000:
   Strongly influenced by Hindemith's devotion to
   craft, Heiden's music is described by Nicolas Slonimsky
   in Baker @ Biographical Dictionary of Music and
   musicians as "neoclassical in its formal structure, and
   strongly polyphonic in texture; it is distinguished also
   by its impeccable formal balance and effective instrumentation."
   He was the recipient of many awards
   and prizes over the course of his long career, including
   two Fromm Foundation awards and a fellowship
   from the Guggenheim Foundation; and his works
   were performed by the symphony orchestras of Detroit,
   Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Saint Louis, Rochester
   and Chicago, the New York Philharmonic, and by numerous
   chamber ensembles and eminent solo artists.

   As a gifted teacher and advisor to his students,
   Bernhard Heiden encouraged experimentation in their
   work at the same time that he also searched for new
   and broader outlets for his own creative energies. In
   addition to the shaping of an active composition department
   at IU, Bernhard was also instrumental in
   establishing the Indiana University Early Music Institute,
   having influenced its founder, Thomas Binkley,
   to come to Bloomington.

   Bernhard is remembered with devotion by his
   many students and colleagues, who will recall not only
   the high standards of his teaching and his deep knowledge
   of the craft of composition, but also his affection,
   his concern for their well being and careers, and his
   unfailing equanimity, dry wit, and self-deprecating
   sense of humor. How fortunate we are that so many of
   those same qualities live on in his music. (8)

As the excerpt above mentions, in addition to the Mendelssohn Prize he won as a student, Heiden received numerous other awards. Among these were the Fine Arts Quartet Composition Award, which he received in 1951 for his String Quartet No. 2; the Guggenheim Fellowship in composition in 1966; the two Fromm Foundation awards; and a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to write a tuba concerto dedicated to Harvey Phillips. The Guggenheim Fellowship allowed the Heidens to spend a year in Greece, where they later had a summer home for many years.

While conducting my research, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with Professor Heiden himself on several occasions. These included a phone conversation, a visit to his home in Bloomington, and a weekend when he was in Lexington, Kentucky as the honored guest composer at the Twelfth Annual Southeast Horn Workshop in 1989. At that workshop all of Heiden's compositions featuring horn were performed and he also gave a lecture about them.

Sonata for Horn and Piano

The first piece he wrote for the instrument was the Sonata for Horn and Piano, which dates from 1939, the year in which Hindemith wrote his own horn sonata. I asked Professor Heiden whether there was any reason that he and his former teacher had composed horn sonatas in the same year, and he said that it was purely coincidental. Hindemith was actually not entirely pleased with Heiden's work. In an undated letter to Heiden he said, "Many of the themes are attractive; especially in the Menuett there are nice things, but I really have doubts about both of the themes of the first movement whether they have the appropriate content for the form of this movement. The last movement strikes me as too light ... that shouldn't be happening to you anymore." (9) These comments reveal that Heiden was moving away from the influence of his teacher. It is actually not surprising that Hindemith complained of lightness because Heiden's style is in general much lighter and more lyrical than that of his mentor.

The Sonata is dedicated to Theodore Seder, who played first horn in the Detroit Symphony when the work was composed, which was during the time that Heiden lived in Detroit. Heiden described Seder as a "wonderful player" who later left horn playing to become a librarian at the Fleischer Library in Philadelphia. (10) He was one of several horn players with whom Heiden was associated over the years. It was these connections that led the composer to write a number of works featuring the instrument, and Heiden emphasized that his associations with horn players were always happy. (11)

Partially because it is the oldest and most widely known of Heiden's works for horn, and probably also because of its conventional and readily available instrumentation, the sonata is the most frequently performed of the seven works to be discussed. In a survey of graduate and undergraduate recitals at 273 college and university music departments in the United States during the 1971-72 academic year, Merrill Brown ranked the sonata ninth in a list of the most frequently performed horn solos. (12)

Heiden's sonata utilizes a variety of traditional and contemporary musical resources. Formally, all three movements are linked with the past: the first is in a modified sonata form, the second combines elements of several dance forms, and the third is a rondo. Still, such twentieth-century devices as subtle shifting of key centers and modes, quartal harmonies and melodies, rhythmic displacement, and changing meters place the work firmly in the modern era.


The opening theme of the first movement contains all twelve pitches but is not a row because it repeats a number of notes before going through the complete sequence. Despite its chromaticism, the theme is tonal but includes both major and minor elements. In addition to this juxtaposition of modes, two more important generative features can be detected in the initial presentation of the theme. The first is a motive consisting of the main pitch followed by the notes a half step above and a whole step below, established by the first four notes of the horn part. A rhythmic motive introduced by the piano in the fourth measure also serves as a building block later in the movement.

Several characteristics common to Heiden's writing can be seen in these few measures. Rhythmic and intervallic patterns are structurally important, and keys and modes are often ambiguous. Sonata form is observed fairly closely in this movement; the second theme is in the dominant and the recapitulation begins in the tonic key but later becomes tonally ambiguous.

Although the second movement retains certain elements associated with the classical minuet, it diverges from the original concept of the Baroque minuet as a dance in the elegant and courtly galant style. Divergences from the dance's fundamental affect can, however, be found in the minuets of Franz Joseph Haydn and other Classical composers, as well as those of even later composers who stylized the dance in new contexts. As Melanie Lowe says in reference to the minuets of Haydn's Sturm und Drang Symphonies nos. 44, 49, and 52, "Indeed the tragic associations of the minor mode neutralize at the least the pleasing and charming aspects of the minuet's character if not its elegance as well." Lowe characterizes these symphonic minuets as "Haydn's experimentation with a strict learned style in symphonic movements" because of their canonic and contrapuntal elements. (13) In the Sonata, Heiden also achieves a weighty effect but the complexities that he introduces are more rhythmic than contrapuntal. These features include meter changes (notably the measure of 2/4 in the opening theme) and rhythmic displacement resulting in metric ambiguity similar to that seen in certain classical minuets. (14)



The third movement begins with a light energetic rondo theme in B[flat], composed mainly of thirds and fourths. An important feature shared by the outer movements, the juxtaposition of material in different modes but with the same tonal center, is evident in the first phrase. Changing tonal centers, use of modes, mixed meters, and the combination of two themes are seen in this movement.

Quintet for Horn and Strings

Heiden considered the quintet the best of his works for solo horn. It was the first of several pieces that resulted from the composer's friendship with the eminent hornist John Barrows. The two musicians met in New York City when Barrows was a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet, and Heiden wrote his Sinfonia for Woodwind Quintet in 1949 for a performance by that group in the first concert of the American Music Series on WNYC. The Quintet for Horn and Strings followed in 1952.

Barrows played the first performance with the Berkshire Quartet at Music Mountain in Connecticut in 1952 and also participated in many subsequent performances with such groups as the Budapest Quartet and the Fine Arts Quartet. Both Mason Jones and Christopher Leuba have recorded the work. (15)

The first movement is one of only a few of Heiden's multi-movement works that feature an introduction. This one illustrates some generalized features that Langosch has found in Heiden's introductions: it is harmonically open and presents both a preview of the first theme and some motives that are used later. (16)

The horn opens the exposition with the theme already heard in the introduction, again starting on Bb, but at the quicker Allegretto tempo that continues throughout most of the movement. Here the horn is not unaccompanied as it was at the beginning; it is supported by a slow bass line that spells out the BACH motive. (This four-note motive is based on the pitches represented by the German letters of the name Bach. In German, the B is understood to mean Bb and the H represents B natural. The motive was first used by Johann Sebastian Bach himself and was later emulated by numerous other composers.) Meanwhile the viola plays a sinuous sixteenth-note accompanimental figure that will appear again later. A repeated-note motive introduced in the transition is used extensively in the development.


The second theme passes through several key centers and utilizes the Dorian mode. Although the first theme first returns in the tonic key in the recapitulation, it is supported by a dominant pedal. Both themes are then presented in imitation at various pitch levels.

The second movement is a rondo incorporating some development of motives. Contrast between sections is dependent more on melodic material than on key because tonal implications are both ambiguous and constantly changing. The rondo theme, which features triplets and dotted rhythms, is associated with the stopped horn technique, illustrating Heiden's use of timbre to delineate form. A fugato section in the last episode builds excitement.

Heiden used the rather unusual sectional form ABAB for the third movement of the Quintet. Many of the composer's slow movements are sectional, with the number of sections ranging from three (ABA) to seven (ABACABA). Langosch notes that true slow movements are uncommon in Heiden's output and are particularly rare in his early works: the Quintet is only the second of his compositions to contain one.17 Both consonant and dissonant harmonic materials are utilized in the Quintet's third movement, with the former usually reserved for phrase endings. The melodies are tonally unstable and sometimes fragmented between various instruments. Motives are important in brief points of imitation.


The last movement of the Quintet is a modified nine-part rondo in F. Like most of Heiden's rondos, it is fast and humorous in character. As in the second and third movements of the Sonata, Heiden makes use of changing meters and conflicting metric implication in this movement. Measures 1-8, for example, are written in 2/4, but the structure of the horn line suggests three measures of 3/4 followed by two measures of 3/8 and one of 2/4. Other features are imitation and contrapuntal treatment of themes and motive, ostinato, and hemiola.

Concerto for Horn and Orchestra

A long gap followed the quintet before Heiden wrote his next composition featuring the horn. The Concerto was composed in 1969 on a commission by the University of Wisconsin for John Barrows, who taught there. Barrows played the premiere but was suffering from cancer by that time. Heiden attended the first performance and later related that the famous hornist was so ill that he was not able to attend the dress rehearsal.

The only other performance of the Concerto that the composer knew of was one by Roland Pandolfi, then principal horn with the St. Louis Symphony. Walter Susskind, who was then the music director in St. Louis, had asked Pandolfi to play a concerto, and he had originally chosen one by Rosetti. Prior to taking the job in Saint Louis, Pandolfi had been principal horn in the Milwaukee Symphony and had taken some lessons from Barrows while they were both in Wisconsin. The second horn in St. Louis, Carl Scheibler, was a former Barrows student, and when the two men went to visit him, Barrows showed them the Heiden concerto. Pandolfi recalls, "It is a challenging piece but I thought it was worth playing and decided to do it in place of the Rosetti." He played the Concerto on a Geyer four-valve single B[flat] horn. (18) Regrettably, the composer knew of no other professional performances of the Concerto, and no commercial recordings are available.

As Heiden himself stated, this concerto is somewhat less conventional in form than his other works involving horn. It consists of two large sections, each of which is divided into two movements: "Prelude" and "Recitative and Aria" in the first section and "Theme and Variations" and "Finale" in the second. The "Recitative and Aria" are considered a single entity by virtue of Heiden's punctuation on the title page of the manuscript score.

Although these titles are not themselves unusual, their combination within a concerto is unique. In addition to incorporating operatic forms, Heiden linked the thematic material of the final two movements. Despite this innovative approach, however, the work as whole still bears a resemblance to traditional symphonic form with its weighty opening movement followed by a slow movement, a theme and variations, and a lively finale.

As one would expect, Heiden much preferred the full orchestra version of the concerto to the reduction for horn and piano, done by David Wooldridge. An examination of the composer's carefully controlled and brilliantly contrasted orchestration reveals the reason for this preference.

Five Canons for Two Horns

Only two years later, in 1971, Heiden wrote the Five Canons for Two Horns. It was composed for John Barrows to play at the Third Annual Workshop of the International Horn Society in Bloomington, Indiana. Michael Hoeltzel, who was substituting for Indiana University horn professor Philip Farkas at that time, was the other performer. This first performance is preserved in a workshop recording. Two of the five canons have also been recorded by hornists Calvin Smith and William Zsemvery. These brief works exhibit both some of the most modern writing seen in Heiden's horn music (for example, the use of quarter tones), and his skilled application of various canonic techniques.

In the first canon, the imitation is at the fifth below. At first the second horn follows the first at a distance of two beats in a slow 6/8 meter, which puts the two voices in different metrical positions. Occasional hemiola further blurs the meter. Although tonal centers are not always readily discernable, certain phrases do have a key center. In these places, for example in the first four measures, the exact imitation of the second voice at such a close interval of time creates a bi-tonal effect. Everything in this canon derives from the material presented in the first eight measures. The intervallic distance between the voices remains constant, but the temporal distance varies. Developmental devices include phrase extension, rhythmic displacement, and free inversion.


Heiden achieves an interesting effect in the second canon by utilizing a rhythmic cell suggesting a 3/8 meter within a notated 2/4 meter. The opening theme contains three instances of this cell, which consists of four repeated sixteenth notes followed by an eighth note. Again, the imitation is exact. In this canon the second horn is the leader and is at first followed one beat later by the first horn, a major second higher. Later the voices are sometimes two beats apart. In the second phrase the answer is inverted literally, a major third above the subject. The close interval of imitation coupled with the 3/8 pattern results in overlapping motives and lively syncopations. Another prominent feature of this canon is the dissonance created by frequent major and minor seconds between the voices. The form is ABA: the slurred passages of the middle section contrast with the agitation of the repeated notes in the outer sections.



In the third canon, at the unison, Heiden explores a number of timbral possibilities. Dynamics and varied methods of sound production play important roles. With the exception of measures 22-25, where the interval of imitation is increased by a beat, the second horn is always two beats behind the first. This relatively large time interval (at quarter note = 52), together with the slow tempo, Heiden's choice of the unison as the canonic interval, and his construction of melodic lines in such a way that one voice is generally passive while the other is active, creates a striking impression of responsiveness between the two voices.

The first four measures utilize only one pitch in both voices and derive their effect of constant change from the swelling and ebbing of first one voice and then the other. Forte-piano attacks in the third and fourth measures jolt the listener out of the serene mood produced by the soft dynamics of the opening. Other effects used in the third canon are cuivre (brassy), quarter-tones (sometimes in glissandos) and stopped horn. The quarter-tone glissandi are produced either by closing the hand in the bell or by alternate fingerings.

Dotted rhythms play an important role in establishing the character of the fourth canon. They are the prevailing rhythmic device in the outer sections of the ternary form and create a sense of urgency which contrasts with the more fluid quality of the smoothly slurred middle section. This canon is in contrary motion, with the second horn entering in inversion two beats behind and a perfect fifth above the first. Both the temporal and spatial intervals vary with subsequent entrances. The process of inverting the canon at the fifth creates a juxtaposition of D major and D minor in the first two measures, but a mixture of sharps and flats soon obscures even this bi-modal frame of reference. Throughout the canon, transient key centers are suggested by melodic outlines and occasional chordal and scalar passages, but such implications are very brief and usually confined to a single voice.



Changes in the spatial and temporal intervals between the voices, as well as reversals and overlapping of the roles of leader and follower, make the fifth canon far more complex than its predecessors. Double counterpoint opens this canon; both voices begin simultaneously on the same note, but with different material, and in measure 3 each imitates the material first presented by the other. Because the first horn imitates the second at the interval of a minor third higher, and the second imitates the first a major third higher, a minor second between the two voices results on the downbeat of measure 3. At certain points, one of the voices functions as leader and follower at the same time because bits of the answer are echoed again by the leading voice. Throughout the canon, the intervals of imitation vary, both intervallically, ranging from a minor third to a minor sixth, and temporally, usually either one or two measures. This last canon ends consonantly on a major third.

Variations for Solo Tuba and Nine Horns

The Variations for Solo Tuba and Nine Horns were written in 1974 for a memorial concert in New York for John Barrows organized by tuba player Harvey Phillips. Barrows, who had died that year, was the original organizer of the Valhalla Horn Choir in New York, and Phillips was an honorary member. This group performed the premiere with Heiden himself conducting. A recording was made a couple of months later. The work is the most complex and non-traditional of Heiden's compositions featuring the horn. Harmonically, it combines triadic and quartal structures with dissonant clusters. Layering, often in groups of three horns, produces polychordal sound masses. Connections between the theme and the variations are often subtle, relying more on melodic contour, rhythmically similar motives, and characteristic intervals than on thematic and harmonic material per se. Each variation is further afield than the last, until the final section literally recapitulates the first eleven measures of the theme. The tuba part is demanding and contains "chords" produced by singing and playing at the same time in the cadenza.


Heiden's grouping of the horns is innovative, in part because of the unusual instrumentation of this work. Most music involving more than one horn is scored in accordance with a principle dating back to the eighteenth century distinction between high first horn (cor alto, corno primo) and the low second horn (cor basso, corno second). By extension of this old doctrine, the custom of assigning high parts to the odd numbered horns and low parts to those with even numbers evolved. Composers added additional pairs of horns as the size of the orchestra increased. Of course there were exceptions such as Beethoven's Third Symphony and the Serenade and Cello Concerto by Dvorak that used trios of horns, but pairs were the general rule. Heiden's Variations is the only piece to come to mind that uses three horn trios.

Each group of three horns is a distinct layer of the texture. In general the first group, horns one through three, is the highest and each of the other groups is progressively lower, but overlapping between the groups occurs quite frequently. The three layers are indicated by braces in the score, and are clearly in evidence in the opening chord. Although this chord is aurally perceived as a dissonant cluster, analysis reveals that it is a polychord constructed of three minor triads. Horns 1-3 play an A minor triad (E minor written) while the second and third groups play C# minor (G# minor written) and first inversion F minor (C minor written) triads respectively. It is interesting to note that the roots of these triads form the enharmonic equivalent of an augmented triad, dividing the octave into three equal parts. These polychords provide a background to the wide-ranging, arch-shaped solo tuba line which begins on the second beat of the first measure. No clear tonal center can be discerned, but both the ascending and descending portions of the arch start on C and end on A. These two notes are also featured prominently in many of the variations. A half-note triplet and a quarter-note quintuplet inject an element of rhythmic fluidity. The pitches of the quintuplet are a series of major sixths plummeting to an F which precedes the concluding A of the phrase.

Quartet for Horns

The Quartet for Horns was commissioned by the International Horn Society and dedicated to Michael Holtzel. The first performance was at the Fourteenth Annual Horn Workshop, held in Avignon, France in 1982. The performers were Douglas Hill, Froydis Ree Wekre, Meir Rimon, and Michael Holtzel. Heiden recounted that this was an outdoor concert in the courtyard of the Palace of the Popes, where unfortunately a big wind came up and blew the music away. This occurred on the last night of the workshop, but he said that the players were "all terribly nice" and came together the next morning at 8:30, somewhat the worse for wear, to record it before they had to catch their planes.

Like many of Heiden's large works, the Quartet begins with a movement in modified sonata form. The movement opens with a five-measure unaccompanied first horn solo. Expressive leaps and extreme chromaticism are the salient features of the melodic line. The three sections of the exposition share much common material and are distinguished mainly by the syncopated accompaniment of the second theme. Many references to the first theme are made in the closing section. Although the second theme is relatively short in the exposition and barely recognizable in the recapitulation, it receives more attention in the development.

The second movement is an adagio in ternary form. For the first fourteen measures of the movement, the texture is thin, consisting of three solo phrases for first horn answered by two motives that are associated respectively with the second horn and with the third and fourth horns throughout the movement. The second horn motive is muted and consists of a pair of arch shaped slurs. Scalar eighth-note lines in oblique and contrary motion comprise the third and fourth horn motive. The middle section is distinguished by a faster tempo and a more lyrical theme. The theme itself and the chordal quality of the horn writing bring to mind the Children's Prayer from Engelbert Humperdinck's opera Hansel und Gretel.



All four horns participate in the hammered repeated chords at the start of the third movement, a vivace rondo with the form ABACABA. The initial chord, which functions as a relatively consonant point of rest within the rondo theme, is a C major triad in closed position with an internal major ninth added. Quick diversions from this triad, upward in horns one and three and downward in horns two and four, are at first tentative ventures to chromatic neighbors, but as the theme gains confidence, these excursions become more frequent and more distant. Modal and synthetic scales played by one horn at a time in measures 4-7 dissolve all tonal expectations before the repeated chords return a fifth higher in measure 8. The first episode features an expressive melody that is passed from one voice to another, but an undercurrent of repeated sixteenth notes recalls the rondo theme. A brief allusion to the theme quickly gives way to the second episode, which focuses on a new theme beginning with an octave leap. After a full return of the rondo theme, the first episode returns. The last rondo section ends with a vivace coda.


Quartet for Piano, Violin, Cello, and Horn

The Quartet for Piano, Violin, Cello and Horn (1985) was commissioned by the Heritage Chamber Players with the help of the South Carolina Arts Commission and donations from patrons. Gayle Chesebro, the horn player in that group, arranged the commission. The work was premiered on April 10, 1986 at the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina on a program celebrating the tenth anniversary season of the Heritage Chamber Players.

Despite its relatively recent date, the Quartet contains a number of traditional elements. Among these are use of triads and seventh chords (albeit in a non-functional context), fleeting tonal implications, and approximations of traditional forms. The first movement, for example, reveals a structure that incorporates many of the features of sonata form. A new motive in the development approaches thematic importance. Ostinatos and pedal points are featured, but a high degree of chromaticism prevents them from really defining tonal centers.


The second movement is a five-parrondo (ABABA). Hemiola is featured in this movement and the BACH motive, which was also seen in the Quintet, appears in both transposition and retrograde. Tempo changes as well as thematic material delineate the sections.

Repeated notes in the horn and strings at the outset of the third movement, another five part rondo, form mildly dissonant chords and provide a background for the sparkling piano line that enters in the second measure. Scalar passages and imitation are important in this movement.




Heiden said that in all of these works he always had the traditional sound of the horn in mind. As a conservative composer, he based his musical style on a combination of the disciplines of counterpoint, development, variational techniques, and formal integrity with such modern features as structural use of intervals and timbres, quartal and quintal harmony, tone clusters, use of quarter tones, and shifting meters. Never, though, did he enter the realm of the avant garde. He was not a pioneer, but what some critics call a summation composer, creating his own personal style by combining existing musical resources, as did such notable predecessors as J.S. Bach, Mozart, and Brahms. An overview of the stylistic features seen in the works analyzed in this article reveals that Heiden synthesized and modified various conventional and twentieth-century compositional techniques, confirming Nicholas Slonimsky's characterization of his music as "neoclassical in its formal structure, and strongly polyphonic in texture; it is distinguished also by its impeccable formal balance and effective instrumentation." (19)

We horn players are fortunate to have had a friend like Bernhard Heiden, who contributed so much to our literature. His music has been featured in various workshops and sym posia of the International Horn Society at least since the Third Annual Horn Workshop in 1971, when John Barrows and Michael Holtzel played the newly composed Five Canons for Two Horns. Professor Heiden said that all of his associations with horn players had been happy ones, and it is through these associations that these fine works were produced. Surely, as a composer who contributed so much to the horn repertoire, he deserves to join the ranks of such composers as Mozart and Strauss.


Sonata for Horn and Piano

Award Artist Series AAS 704. James Chambers, horn.

Crystal Records S376 & CD676. The Solo Horn. John Cerminaro, horn and Zita Carno, piano.

Desto DC 7206. Caswell Neal, horn and Zita Carno, piano.

EMI Classics EMI 56383. Solo Horn Sonatas. Andrew Lewinter, horn and Paul Posnak, piano.

Mark MCD 1924. Music for Horn by Hindemith and his Students. Janine Gaboury-Sly, horn and Deborah Moriarty, piano.

Musical Heritage Society MHS 3547. Twentieth Century Music for Horn and Piano. Charles Kavalovski, horn; Andrew Wolff, piano.

Quintet for Horn and String Quartet

Gasparo Digital GS-2070. Mason Jones, horn.

Olympic Records OLY 102. Christopher Leuba, horn.

Concerto for Horn and Orchestra

Roland Pandolfi, horn. Unpublished recording with the St. Louis Symphony.

Five Canons for Two Horns

Crystal S371. Horns of Plenty. Calvin Smith and William Zsemvery, horns. (Canons 2 & 5 only.)

Equilibrium EQ 34. Horn Duets. Andrew Lewinter and Lauren Hammock, horns.

United Sound USR 4184. The Thrid Annual French Horn Workshop, June 1971. John Barrows and Michael Holtzel, horns.

Variations for Solo Tuba and Nine Horns

Golden Crest CRSQ 4147. In Tribute to a Friend: John R. Barrows (1913-1974). Bernhard Heiden, conductor. Harvey Phillips, tuba. Valhalla Horn Choir: Peter Gordon, James Buffington, Larry Wechsler, Earl Chapin, Fred Griffen, John Clark, Brooks Tillotson, Raymond Alonge, Frank Donaruma.

Saarlandischen Rundfunk. Variations: Music for Tuba and Horns. American and German Horn Ensemble. Conductor: Robert Ross; Tuba: Markus Hotzel; Horn: Wolfgang Bottger, Norbert Dausacker, Jane Lehmann-Han, Xiao-Ming Han, Ranier Jurkiewicz, Ludwig Rast, Kerry Turner, Kathy Putnam, Mark Putnam, Florian Winkelmann.

Quartet for Horns

Audio Village. 14e Colloque International des Cornistes, Palais des Papes, Avignon, France, 1982. Douglas Hill, Fr0ydis Ree Wekre, Meir Rimon, and Michael Holtzel, horns.

Summit Records DCD 176. Shared Reflections: The Legacy of Philip Farkas. Randy Gardner, Michael Hatfield, Douglas Hill, David Krehbiel, horns.

Quartet for Piano, Violin, Cello, and Horn

Gail Chesebro, horn. Unpublished recording of the premiere by Heritage Chamber Players.

David Elliott, horn. Unpublished recording from the Southeastern Horn Workshop, 1989.


Anderson, E. Ruth, compiler. Contemporary American Composers: A Biographical Dictionary. 2nd edition. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1982.

Austin, William W. Music in the 20th Century from Debussy through Stravinsky. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1966.

Berger, Jonathan. "Playing with 'Playing with Signs': A Critical Response to Kofi Agawu." Journal of Music Theory, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 293-313. Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of the Yale University Department of Music.

Brown, Merrill. "Trumpet and Horn Literature Most Often Performed by College Students." Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, published on demand. DMA dissertation, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, 1980.

Canfield, David DeBoor. Annotiations on Enharmonic Records EN81-002. Bloomington, Indiana: Enharmonic Records, 1981.

Faust, Randall E. "Composer Profile: Bernhard Heiden." NACWPI Journal, XXXV, No. 1 (Fall, 1986), 42-43.

Filkins, Joanne Margaret. "The Horn Music of Bernhard Heiden." Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, published on demand. DMA dissertation, University of Kentucky, 1994.

Langosch, Marlene Joan. "The Instrumental Chamber Music of Bernhard Heiden." Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, published on demand. Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, 1973.

Lowe, Melanie. "Falling from Grace: Irony and Expressive Enrichment in Haydn's Symphonic Minuets." The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Winter 2002), pp. 171-221.

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Payne, Dorothy Katherine. "The Unaccompanied Wind Sonatas of Hindemith: Studies in Tonal Counterpoint." Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, published on demand. Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, 1974.

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Walsh, Thomas. "A Performer's Guide to the Saxophone Music of Bernhard Heiden." DMA dissertation, Indiana University, 1999. Website consulted 7-13-2010: handle/2022/328/twalsh.pdf;jsessionid=1FA05C9D557C090DFEF2 6B0EFDB66533?sequence=1

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(1) My doctoral dissertation was a study of these works and contains more detailed analysis of them. The topic was suggested to me by former IHS President Randall Faust. The only previous extensive study done on Heiden's music is a dissertation written on his chamber music by Marlene Langosch.

Joanne Margaret Filkins, "The Horn Music of Bernhard Heiden" (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, published on demand) (DMA Dissertation, University of Kentucky, 1994)

Marlene Langosch, "The Instrumental Chamber Music of Bernhard Heiden" (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, published on demand) (Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, 1973).

(2) Hoch's Conservatory, not to be confused with the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin, was established in Frankfurt in 1878. Its name derives from an endowment bequeathed by J. Hoch. Hindemith also attended Hoch's Conservatory (1908-1917), which is sometimes referred to as the Hoch Conservatory.

(3) Langosch, Heiden, p. 8.

(4) Langosch, Heiden, p. 8.

(5) Many thanks to Heiden's nephew and executor, Karl Sterne, who provided information on the family history and the art collection via email on July 11-12, 2010.

(6) Quote from the program of his Memorial Concert held at Auer Hall, Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana on September 18, 2000. As quoted by Julian Livingston on his website consulted 7-08-10:

(7) The couple left a number of paintings, including one by Paul Klee and several by Max Beckmann, to the Indiana University Art Museum. This bequest along with several to nieces and nephews on both sides of the family was the last disposition of the art collection that was started by Ernst Levi and continued by Bernhard and Cola. Many pieces had already been either sold by Martha following Ernst's death or auctioned at a later date. Karl Sterne via email on July 11-12, 2010.

(8) As quoted by Julian Livingston on his website consulted 7-08-10: heiden.htm

(9) Langosch, Heiden, pp. 136-137. My own loose translation from the German: "Manche Themen sind hubsch, besonders im Menuett sind nette Sachen. Aber schon bei beiden Themen des ersten Satzes habe ich gelinde Zweifel, ob sie der geeignete Inhalt fur die Form dieses Stuckes sind. Der letzte Satz wiegt mir gar zu leicht ..., das durfte Ihnen nicht mehr passieren."

(10) Interview with Bernhard Heiden, March 14, 1987.

(11) Interview with the author, March 14, 1987.

(12) Merrill Brown, "Trumpet and Horn Literature Most Often Performed by College Students," The Brass World, IX, No. 2, 1974

(13) Melanie Lowe, "Falling from Grace: Irony and Expressive Enrichment in Haydn's Symphonic Minuets," The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Winter 2002), p. 200.

(14) Examples of rhythmic patterns which obscure the meter in minuets of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven are discussed in: Jonathan Berger, "Playing with 'Playing with Signs': A Critical Response to Kofi Agawu," Journal of Music Theory, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 293-313.

(15) See discography.

(16) Langosch, Heiden, pp. 61-63.

(17) Langosch, Heiden, pp. 56-58.

(18) Email from Roland Pandolfi, July 6, 2010. Unfortunately no recording of this fine performance is available, but I have heard it on a homemade cassette tape and can attest to the quality of the playing as well as the value of the work itself.

(19) Nicolas Slominsky, ed. & Kuhn, Laura, Baker's Series Advisory Ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Music, Centennial Edition. (New York: Schirmer, 2001) v.3, pp. 1510-11.

Dr. Joanne Filkins is third horn of the Lexington Philharmonic, an administrator at the University of Kentucky School of Music, and teacher of private students. She has also performed with the Kentuckiana Brass Choir, the University of Kentucky Brass Quintet, the McCracken Wind Quintet, the Owensboro Symphony, musical theater groups, chamber groups which include various instruments and voice, and popular artists such as Henry Mancini, Eddie Arnold, Melissa Manchester, Ray Charles, and Tommy Emmanuel. She has taught horn at the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, Georgetown College, Asbury College, and Centre College.
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Author:Filkins, Joanne M.
Publication:The Horn Call
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Date:Feb 1, 2012
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