Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra
Linda Tutas Haugen
About this work:
The Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra was begun in 1997 after the composer received an Artist Fellowship from the Minnesota State Arts Board. It was finished during the latter part of 1999 and early 2000 and written specifically for saxophonist, Vasili Kasatkin, and the Greater Grand Forks Symphony.
The composition is divided into three movements or sections with no break between the sections. In the first movement, Moderato, the saxophone enters with a dramatic statement that reflects the strength and soloistic nature of the instrument. The versatility of the saxophone is shown in this movement as it blends equally well with the brass and woodwinds. A restatement of the opening material by the full ensemble is followed by an expressive transition section into the second movement.
The lyrical theme played by the saxophone at the beginning of the second movement, Andante, is accompanied by the muted strings. This theme is then altered and presented by the first violins joined by a saxophone counter melody. A cadenza follows in the saxophone that leads to the third movement, Vivace.
The dance-like quality of this movement is evident in the fast-moving triplet solo line as well as the heavier 5/4 peasante accompaniment. Elements of jazz appear later in contrasting sections, as well as an accompanied cadenza where the soloist displays virtuosic double-tonguing. The dance-like material returns one last time and with a flurry races to the end.
World Premiere: January 28, 2000, Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, Vasili Kasatkin, alto saxophone soloist, Timm Rolek, conductor, Empire Arts Center, Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Publisher: Ephraim Bay Publishing Company
Version: Symphonic Version
Year composed: 2000
Ensemble type: Orchestra:Chamber Orchestra
Instrumentation: 1 Flute, 1 Oboe, 1 Clarinet, 1 Bassoon, 1 Alto Saxophone, 2 Horn in F, 2 Trumpet, 1 Trombone, 2 Percussion (General), 1 Piano, 1 Strings (General)
Instrumentation notes: 22.214.171.124.1altosax-2.2.1-timp.perc(2):BD/suspcym/tamb/wdbl-pft-strings