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Forbidden – Horn and Piano


Commissioned by Grammy-award winning horn player Andrew Pelletier, this very fast-paced and highly energetic piece draws its inspiration from the final moments of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s fly in his poem: The Death of the Fly (1810).

“WITH eagerness he drinks the treach'rous potion,

Nor stops to rest, by the first taste misled;
Sweet is the draught, but soon all power of motion

He finds has from his tender members fled;
No longer has he strength to plume his wing,
No longer strength to raise his head, poor thing!
E'en in enjoyment's hour his life he loses,
His little foot to bear his weight refuses;
So on he sips, and ere his draught is o'er,
Death veils his thousand eyes for evermore.”

Premiered in 2006 on Andrew Pelletier’s recital entitled American Journey at Bowling Green State University, this piece begins as the fly takes his first sip of the forbidden potion. The simultaneous euphoria and terror is explored as the fly realizes his fate. With one final hurrah, he finishes his drink and “death veils his thousand eyes for evermore.”

The audio excerpt is from the live premiere performance, Andrew Pelletier, soloist. (Used with permission.)

Composer: Ryan Nowlin
Instrumentation: F Horn & Piano
Duration/# of Pages: ca. 4:35 / 19 pages, 8.5″ x 11″
Key: N/A

Score & Parts $20.00