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Paul Carr
SAXOPHONE CONCERTO for sax and string orchestra
Goodmusic Concert Originals No.171

Catalogue Number: GMCO171

Difficulty level: D What's this?

ISMN: 9790222310865

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Saxophone Concerto  Pack image
Orchestration: Soprano Saxophone, Strings: (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)

In 2006 when I was living on the beautiful island of Mallorca I wrote an Oboe Concerto for Nicholas Daniel who gave the premiere in May 2008 at The English Music Festival. Nick also recorded the work on the Dutton label with Gavin Sutherland and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. After a recent posting on YouTube in 2019 of the slow movement, The Unusual Quietness of Snow, Nick suggested that it would work very well on soprano saxophone, so I made this version of the Concerto for the young saxophonist, Robert Burton.

The first movement "Allegro energico" is a lively conversation where the saxophone takes the lead, pitted against the strings, in a blended mix of boisterous eruptions and loftier linear lines. The movement passes through various keys and while themes are not exactly developed they are spat out at each other, enjoying their playful correspondence.
In stark contrast the central elegy, "The unusual quietness of snow" is a slow and poignant expression of sadness and loss. At a difficult time in my life, a few days before my Mother's death, it seemed strange that a heavy, early morning snowfall in the first days of March could have provided a sense of calmness and unity at a time of extreme emotion. It was a snowfall and a quietness I shall never forget, and I remember thinking how comforting and beautiful it was - the large heavy flakes falling slowly and silently, as if out of a mark of respect. Opening with quiet sustained chords in the strings the saxophone enters with an expressive theme that continually rises and falls, deepening in emotional intensity. Eventually the theme is taken up by the strings and joined by the saxophone as it reaches its highest point - leaving the movement to subside into calm, quiet, and eventual rest.
The final movement, "September music" is a spirited evocation of Summer's end. Whilst the general feeling is still of warmth and lightness, there is a certain nostalgia in the central passages, hinting that Summer is on the way out and the season about to change. Paul Carr

Duration 16 minutes
A PACK includes a score and set of parts including strings 4/4/3/4/2 and the solo sax part.
A reduction for Saxophone and piano is also available - GM282.

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