The Sonata for Horn and Piano was dedicated to the horn-playing daughter of Dan Ray, one of the long-time employees of David DeBoor Canfield's record business, Ars Antiqua. Canfield had discovered that the musical letters drawn from the name of the dedicatee, Abigale Ray, (noting that the German note "B" is "B-flat" in English notation) produced the phrase, A-Bb-G-A, combined with D (from Ray or Re), an attractive theme for the opening of the first movement. The same notes, with some octave displacement and change in rhythm, also yielded a nice opening theme for the second movement. In addition, movement II uses a D pedal point in the left hand of the piano part throughout the entire movement, similar to the pedal G-sharp used throughout 'Il vecchio Castello" in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
The sonata had to wait until 2001 for its premiere, which was given at a festival of the composer's music at the University of Central Oklahoma. The hornist in the premiere was Ted Honea and the pianist, Gene Moon. After some valuable suggestions given the composer by Dr. Honea, the composer rewrote certain sections to make the piece more playable, and these have been incorporated into the recording that was made for Enharmonic Records by Mitch Serslev, hornist, and Nino Cocchiarella, pianist. This recording was issued in 2008 on Enharmonic Records ENCD08-017.
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