Jeanne d'Arc is a large solo piece for French horn and wind band. The score describes the life of Jeanne d'Arc, a French heroine who lived in the 14th century. Jeanne tries to deliberate her people from the English oppressors. Guided by her God she takes armies to the battlefield, fighting on the front row to inspire the French soldiers. The French are victorious battle after battle, driving the English back. Jeanne wants to attack the enemy on their own ground. After some major losses the French start turning against Jeanne. Eventually they deceive her by handing her over to the English. During the trials Jeanne refuses to swear the oath and this would lead to her death by execution (the stake). Only after 500 years Jeanne was canonized by Pope Benedict XV, being banned for such a long time.
In the score Jeanne is represented by the solo horn player. The character of the French horn corresponds to the different aspects of Jeanne's life, from the romantic colors to the heroic passages in the highest register. Jeanne d'Arc was first performed in 2006 by Wilhelmina Glanerbrug (the Netherlands). The difficult solo horn part was played by the fabulous horn player René Pagen. The score was recorded in Portugal with solo hornplayer Bernardo Silva.
Composed in: 2006
Instrumentation: Concert Band