Triptych (on a Theme by Handel) was commissioned by horn soloist Lesley Howie for a premiere performance at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. In three broad sections, the work is a modern take on the traditional ‘theme and variations’ concept, used in many brass band solos.
The three sections of the piece are:
fanfare and theme – a fanfare sounded by the soloist at the opening is taken on by the band, leading to a setting of Handel’s Sarabande (from his 6th Suite for keyboard) and a recapitulation of the fanfare
slow song – a simple melody, becoming more elaborate throughout the section
finale – a quasi-tango featuring some fiendish technique from the soloist
Triptych (on a Theme by Handel) is dedicated to Lesley Howie.