Concerto for Saxophone

Concerto for Saxophone (2010) – alto sax., pno.

The Concerto for Saxophone is in three movements: Trial and Error, Research, and Realization. The first movement, Trial and Error, shows the saxophonist attempting to create a reasonable motive for the whole concerto. Just as the motive appears to be reaching completion, an outbreak of denial intervenes, forcing him to begin anew. This pattern of trial and error continues throughout the movement until the frustrated saxophonist decides to give up for the day. The loud cluster chord in the piano represents this gesture. The second movement, Research, finds the saxophonist researching ideas on how to develop a well-crafted motive. As he searches for new ideas, he finds himself lost in an ominous setting. He eventually finds his way back and continues his search for new ideas. As in the first movement, he is frustrated by his inability to conjure motives appropriate for the task. The third and final movement, Realization, shows the saxophonist in a state of exhaustion; he considers giving up the whole concerto. While he lingers through the motives, the pianist recalls the numerous times of denial through its soft, complex chords – chords that are reminiscent of the previous two movements. Suddenly, the saxophonist discovers the means for reaching the end. He restores a portion of the first movement, remodelling it to serve as the close in the final movement. The saxophonist becomes aggressive and squeals his way into the altissimo register whereupon he loses control and plummets downward. The final piano cluster brings the concerto to a crashing close.

Premiered by: Edward Goodman, alto saxophone; Sangmi Lim, piano. Premiered at Michigan State University Hart Recital Hall on April 15th, 2011

Duration: 18:00 minutes

I. Trial and Error

II. Research

III. Realization

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