Saxaphone Sonata
Julian Wagstaff


My Saxophone Sonata was composed in late 2004 for the saxophonist Johanne
McMullan, then a final year student at Edinburgh University, for her degree recital.
It is in many ways a continuation of my exploration of the interface between the
"serious" and the "popular" in music, the first manifestation of which was my 2002
Piano Quintet.

The first movement (Prelude) is driven by a harmonic logic which is essentially
quartal, and a melodic one based around the whole-tone scale. The Chorale and
is derived entirely from three distinct twelve-note rows, and is an attempt
to re-imagine Schoenberg's early twelve-tone discoveries through a jazz-inflected
aesthetic. The Rondo finale is an up-tempo chromatic work-out, the tonal centre of
which is continually shifting. The piece covers the entire register of the alto
saxophone, thus comprehensively demonstrating the technical capabilities of the
instrument. In addition, the characteristic melodies contained within the piece ably
demonstrate the lyrical capacity of the alto sax.

Also available for clarinet.

Instrumentation Genre Ensemble (no conductor)
Tag duo
Duration 12 minutes
Instrumentation Saxophone (alto) [1 player]; Piano [1 player]

Performances of this work

Date Venue Performer Link
25/05/2005 (*premiére) University of Edinburgh Reid Concert Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK Link to online catalogue

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