The English horn is the closest relative of the oboe, which appeared in the first half of the eighteenth century. Otherwise it is called Altovis oboe. English horn more oboe and sounds a fifth lower. The sound of his more melancholic, lazy dreamy" as defined by Rimsky-Korsakov.
The English horn is able to imitate Eastern instruments, so Borodin wrote for him one of those symphonic picture "In Central Asia".
However, he was entrusted with such melodious tunes, as in the introduction to Lisa's Arioso "Where did these tears" from "the Queen of spades" by Tchaikovsky.
P. I. Tchaikovsky. Arioso Lisa "Where did these tears" from the Opera "the Queen of spades"
And in the "Fantastique" by Berlioz and the Overture to Rossini's "William tell" English horn simulates the sound of the horn Alpine shepherds. In Symphony orchestras are usually two oboes and an English horn.
J. ROSSINI. Overture to the Opera "WILLIAM TELL"