ensemble alto saxophone and piano
duration 12 minutes
for Jeffrey Leung
premièred March 11, 8 AM Watson Recital Hall, Cinncinati College Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, OH 45221
published by Murphy Music Press, LLC
My musical goal for this piece for solo saxophone and piano was to write something that was challenging to saxophonists on an extremely fundamental level, rather than relying on the heavy use of extended techniques. The first movement came from my desire to have more lyrical altissimo (high note) passages in the saxophone repertoire. It is unapologetically lyrical, melodic, and at times emotional in a way that challenges the saxophonists’ range, connection, and expressive capabilities. To balance it, the second part had to be everything the first wasn’t – so I made it quick, low, and extremely gestural and textural. It tests the saxophonists’ ability to execute technical passages in a lyrical style over long periods of time. The piece, then, is titled Rift, which can be defined as “a difference in opinion, belief, or interest,” since the second part tries to be as far away from the first sonically as it can.