Few composers have written extensively for the horn as a solo instrument. Bernhard Heiden is a contemporary, relatively unstudied composer who has written quite extensively for the horn. This document analyzes seven works in which Heiden has featured the horn as a solo instrument and discusses the circumstances of their composition. These seven works are: Sonata for Horn and Piano (1939); Quintet for Horn and String Quartet (1952); Concerto for Horn and Orchestra (1969); Five Canons for Two Horns (1971); Variations for Solo Tuba and Nine Horns (1977); Quartet for Horns (1981); and Quartet for Piano, Violin, Cello, and Horn (1985).
Investigation reveals that all of these works were composed as the result of Professor Heiden's associations with several horn players. They exhibit stylistic features which exemplify three of the four style periods into which his work has been divided by researcher Marlene Langosch. Although certain conservative tendencies can be found in all of these works, Heiden has also incorporated a number of modern devices, especially in the more recent compositions. These seven works represent a valuable contribution to the literature of the horn.