Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (2018)

Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (2018)

Program Notes

Rather than follow a typical sonata form, the first movement of the piece harkens back to my days as a student saxophonist and band member, warming up on long-tones. These meditative exercises literally set the tone for the following practice or performance – this short movement serves the same purpose for the rest of the work. The slow, pensive melody of the second movement follows the lead set by the Etude and develops wildly and passionately, but is always tempered by an underlying stoicism. Finally, the third movement is an outburst of anger that straddles the edge of breaking down. Aggressive and argumentative, the opening evaporates into a mysterious and introspective song – a series of cries that evokes the previous movements. Always moving, it grows in confidence and excitement to the point of collapse at peak intensity, crashing back down into the furious opening material. By the end, the edge has been breached, with the music culminating in a series of shouts and screams in the saxophone as the musical ground crumbles in the piano.

This work is dedicated to my family and friends who helped me see it through, and my teachers whose lessons and inspiration were written into the pages.

I. Meditation – Persistently (1:30)

II. Soliloquy – Reticently (6:45)

III. Howl –¬†Aggressively (5:30)

Premiered on April 28, 2018 by Eugene Ryoo (soprano saxophone) and Jared Beu (piano) at Jessen Auditorium, University of Texas at Austin.

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