One continuous movement in 2 sections:
3/2, 5/2, 4/2, 9/8, 6/8
Horn 1: f - c3 (opt. d3)
Horn 2: Bb - eb2
Horn 3: c1 - bb2
Horn 4: f - g2
Horn 5: f - g2
Horn 6: f - f2
Horn 7: bb - f2
Horn 8: F - f2
Pumping song - This title springs from the composer’s wish to express something of the spirit of the old sea (pumping) shanties.
Stanhope won the 1979 International Horn Society Contest with These two attacca movements. The first one is slow, chorale-like, with a play in colours through dynamic contrast and hand stopping. Stanhope also plays with the third dimension, by having different voices enter at different times (e.g. starting with horn 4, and then having horns 3 and 6 come in on an open fifth, subsequently horns 2 and 7 on an open octave, and then horns 1 and 8 on a major seventh over two octaves).
This slow opening movements goes attacca into the Pumping song, a fast 9/8 based on a theme that is first presented in horn 1 alone, and then brought back with different articulation in the other parts. The movement is characterised by the typical crotchet-quaver (quarter-eight note) rhythm, which is only interrupted a few times.
While it is not so difficult to play most of the notes, there are extended passages in the high range in some of the parts, hand stopping, muted sections, bells up for almost the entire second half of the second movement, and extreme dynamics. Through the IHS composition competition the horn world has gained many fine compositions, and this is most certainly one of them.