This Berceuse is from a collection of character pieces composed by Amy Beach in 1898: Three Compositions:
“La Captive,” “Berceuse,” and “Mazurka.”
The Berceuse is a short lullaby in ternary ABA form. This version of the work does not remain at pitch but instead has been lowered by two octaves to allow it to fit comfortably on the horn. Some of the markings have also been adjusted to make sense on horn compared to the original.
The Berceuse is part of a series of arrangements meant for a wide group of hornists-from developing players looking for a work for a festival performance -to the professional hornist searching for a lyrical character piece for a recital. This set also includes works by Cui, Grieg, and Humperdinck. Beach's Berceuse is the most difficult of this set of arrangements. These arrangements are of moderate technical difficulty, and are meant to test numerous aspects of horn playing outside of high playing. The Berceuse includes the study of ornamentation, middle register endurance, and the study of the sharp key-D major concert.