Mother Goose Tales for Horn, Narrator, and Piano

This composition owes its existence to a student of mine, Michelle Hascall, who was in need of one more piece for her recital, with the restriction that it be something for children with an instrumentation of horn, piano, and narrator. Since I had just finished a one year stint as a Saturday morning storyteller in a children’s bookshop and a five year stint as a bedtime storytelling father, the idea of setting some nursery rhymes to fill the bill came to mind immediately. There are a huge number of poems in a comprehensive book of Mother Goose rhymes, some very well known, many much less familiar. I chose some of both types, eight in all, selected for variety, humor, musical possibilities, and rhythm. Composition was enjoyable and quick, given such good and evocative material. Michelle patiently waited as the movements were completed, one by one, and she breathed life into them, giving them their first performance. The order of the movements is hers.