Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 41

Robert Muczynski

Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

The concerto was commissioned by saxophonist Trent Kynaston, who presented the premiere performance in November, 1981. It is scored for flute (doubling on piccolo), oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, timpani, percussion, piano and strings.

Although the solo part is technically quite demanding at times, the musical considerations and objectives were foremost in my mind when composing this work. So, while the virtuoso element is present in abundance, there are also moments of serenity and contemplation allowing the solo instrument to sing. I am a great believer in the ?sustained line? which, in my opinion, is still the greatest challenge for a composer and ? for me ? an absolute necessity.

The saxophone has obvious associations with jazz. It has a sound and flavor immediately identifiable with the "American Scene" although, too often, in a one-dimensional capacity. In my concerto I treated it no differently than any other ?respectable? instrument and tried to utilize the saxophone?s very special attributes in terms of timbre, range of expression and dramatic potential.

There is a great deal of intricate rhythmic interplay between soloist and orchestra in the first movement, contrasted by a central section of brooding lyricism. A return to the bustling first tempo carries the movement to an impetuous close.

One might describe the middle movement as a long, sustained song affording the solo instrument the opportunity of projecting both tender and impassioned statements. Next, the orchestra presents a slow, hymn-like introduction which leads to an expressive cadenza for the alto saxophone. Shortly, this music reaches a point of repose, followed by an abrupt change of mood and meter (6/8), and the Finale?s impudent, hard-driving subject in underway. It is interrupted only by a slow, lyrical interlude (5/8) wherein the soloist and orchestra participate in an antiphonal, moody kind of music. With the return of the ?allegro? tempo, the concerto gains in intensity, arriving at a colorful ?coda? which provides a sweeping finish.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by Trent Kynaston.
Composition Date 1981
Duration 00:18:00
Orchestration Solo A.Sax.; 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 0 0; Timp. 2Perc. Pno. Str.
Premiere November 1st, 1981. Trent Kynaston, Saxophone, Kalamazoo Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Yoshimi Takeda, Western Michigan University.


I. Allegro energico
II. Andante maestoso
III. Allegro giocoso