This "Romance", originally composed for french horn and
orchestra by Camille Saint-Saënsin in 1874, has
characteristics that have come to be considered
typically French: elegant line and proportions scored
with the utmost clarity. It is a highly compact example
of Saint-Saëns' approach to composition.
Saint-Saëns composed the Romance in response to the
need for original concert works for various neglected
solo instruments, whose repertoires were then largely
dependent on transcriptions. (He later wrote similar
works for harp and flute.) The work is dedicated to the
famous hornist Henri Garigue.
The Romance's moderato tempo and triple meter give it a
waltz-like feel. The work's ternary form resembles a da
capo aria, in that the final section is a near-literal
return to the first. Considering the brevity of the
piece, the main theme is rather long. It falls into two
sections, both of which share the opening arching
eighth note figure and a dotted idea, and, indeed, the
entire rhythmic pattern. The more animated central
section, marked by a wide dynamic range, develops
fragments of the main theme, most notably the opening
eighth note figure. Throughout the Romance, the piano
is clearly subordinate to the flute, providing support
for the melody.
Although originally composed for Horn and Orchestra, I
created this arrangement for Viola & Acoustic Piano.