Bernhard Heiden was a student of Paul Hindemith and a Professor of Composition at Indiana University.  His Sonata for Horn and Piano, composed in 1939, ventures into the use of non-standard tonality; however, this should not scare away a potential performer.  While the use of tonality may be somewhat adventurous, the formal architecture and the melodic lines are not.   

Technically the work requires some flexibility from the performer in order to navigate some wide intervallic leaps and some delicate arpeggios.  The most technically demanding considerations for the performer are endurance and rhythm specifically, navigating meter changes.  The piece at first glance does not look particularly taxing; however, after considering that the majority of the piece sits in the upper-middle range of the horn, and does not offer much rest for the performer, it is easy to understand how one could become fatigued.  Particularly difficult in this respect is the second movement, with all of its repeats and delicate entrances.  Rhythmically, the most challenging sections are the più vivo (vivace) of the second movement, and the mixed meters of the third movement.  Although the work teeters on the verge of atonality and is more difficult than it initially looks, it can be a pleasant introduction to twentieth-century music.  


Composer Heiden, Bernhard
Dates (1910-2000)
Duration 13:00
Horn Range Bb3 to B5
Level Difficult
Clef Treble Clef
Techniques Stopped Horn
Era/Style 20th Century
Country/Region Germany
Accompaniment Available Piano
Accompaniment Difficulty Moderate


Movements Duration Level Range
I. Moderato 4:45 Difficult Bb3 to B5
II. Tempo di Minuetto 5:05 Difficult C4 to Bb5
III. Rondo: Allegretto 3:08 Difficult C4 to A5