Horn 1: g - b
Horn 2: f - d2
Horn 3: a - bb2
Horn 4: G - g1
Horn 5: f# - g2
Horn 6: f# - f2
Horn 7: gb - a2
Horn 8: Db - g
Summer evening is one of the Three small tonepoems written in 1890 (the other two are Winter night and Spring morning). Frederick Albert Theodore Delius (1862 - 1934) was a truly international composer, being of German and English heritage, however spending most of his life in Floria, US. This mix is probably what defined his style, influenced by African-American music, and quite different to other Western classical music.
Best described as a mixture of pentatonic figues, chromoticism, Impressionism, but at the same time tonal with post-Romantic harmonies, luscious harmonies, usually underlining slow works with constantly evolving melodies, Delius' style foreshadowed jazz and blues harmonies of later years.
Summer evening is one of his characteristic works, an "Adagio quasi andante" with crotchet (quarter note) equalling 60 beat per minute, and a recurring theme that expands and morphs over a harmonically shifting, mainly chordal accompaniment.
The parts are divided in high (odd) and low (even) players, with prominence given to lower numbers (1-3-5-7, 2-4-6-8). The theme mainly appears in the high parts, however fragments are given to the low ones as well, except for horn 8 which is limited to the bass line. As usual in Lynsdale-Nock's arrangements, a bit of colour is introduced through hand stopping, and this enhances the effect generated by Delius' own modulations (taking us from C major to G flat major, sounding pitch, and back).
As with many other arrangments, the decision whether to put Summer evening on the program mainly depends on whether this kind of work is wanted or required. The arrangement is done well and the parts, while difficult at times, rewarding to play. For something uniquely Delius, this is definitely one of the works to try out.
Provision of review score: John Lynsdale-Nock (Corniworld)