Instrumentation: unaccompanied alto saxophone
Score Example: Three Soliloquies
Written for and dedicated to Jean Lansing, saxophone instructor at Wichita State University
Premiered on the Panorama of American Music Festival: Kansas Composers Concert; Kansas State University; Manhattan, Kansas; April 9, 1992.
I. Cadenza in Blue
III. Fast Forward
Notes: Three Soliloquies was composed out of a desire to adapt to the limitations of the current classical music performance situation: i.e., an unaccompanied piece is the ultimate in practicality. Practical considerations were not the only ones, however. The unaccompanied piece presents certain challenges for the composer, such as timbral variety and performer stamina. Also, there is something dramatic and compelling about a performer standing alone onstage. The first movement begins with a cadenza and includes cadenza-like figurations in a sort of blusy harmonic context. The second movement is slow and atmospheric in nature and utilizes many of the “extended” techniques of which the saxophone is capable: multiphonics, quarter tones, timbral trills, key clicks, etc. The third movement has a sort of frenzied, perpetual-motion character.