The Turning (1988)

Instrumentation: soprano voice, alto saxophone, and piano

Score Example: The Turning

Duration: 33:00

Commissioned by Dr. Dorothy Crum and dedicated to the Sotto Voce Trio at Wichita State University.

Premiered at the 12th North American Saxophone Alliance International Symposium; George Mason University; Fairfax, Virginia; January 28, 1989.

I. Thaw
II. Inclination
III. Confluence
IV. Divergence
V. Transformation

Published: by Dorn Publications

Notes: The poems consist of an arch form using the seasons as a background, starting with the thaw of early spring and progressing around the year to winter again. The poetry also traces the psychological development of its protagonist through the five songs, from naive high spirits to passion, despair and, finally, peaceful acceptance. The form of the music reflects the form of the songs, the first song corresponding to the fifth, the second to the fourth, and the third song at the center. Harmonically, the songs are fairly diverse, as appropriate to the texts, from late 19th century idioms to atonality. Although the writing for voice and piano is fairly traditional, many “extended resources” are utilized in the alto saxophone part: multiphonics, timbral trills, altissimo register, and blowing air through the instrument. The cycle may also be performed in a shortened version (14:00), consisting of songs I, IV and II.

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