Pradakshina: Sonata for Alto Saxophone for alto saxophone and piano
15 minutes - Advanced - $45 Purchase score and parts using the PayPal button below.
Pradakshina: Sonata for Alto Saxophone was inspired by a recent trip I took to the Great Stupa located near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. The stupa is a remarkable example of Buddhist architecture, especially among those in the Western Hemisphere, and is renowned for both its impressive scale and connection to the surrounding landscape. Like many stupas, visitors are encouraged to circumambulate the building as a form of meditation known as pradakshina. During my circular walk, I found myself thinking on the nature of music as both a product of the intellect and a physical experience, and also how improvisation and composition are similar, but fundamentally opposite. My saxophone sonata is an attempt to manifest these ideas. In each movement, different compositional techniques from both jazz and pre-Classical works with the intent of creating a seamless blending of both. “Prelude a la Courante” reinterprets the triple-meter dance form into the complex polyrhythms associated with jazz, especially Afro-Cuban jazz of the late 1940’s. Similar to keyboard preludes, linear harmonies are sustained over a continuous rhythmic palette. The title “Ciacona di ‘Gradus’” is a play on words that references Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Fux’ Gradus ad Parnassum (or “Steps to Parnassus”). A chaconne (or ciacona) is derived from the chord roots of Coltrane’s progression as does the saxophone’s melodic material. The movement later employs an isorhythmic double chaconne that is based on the “bridge” of Coltrane’s composition. Finally, “Hoquetus” uses short layered motives in a manner similar to both bebop and works from the early Renaissance as well as recombining techniques from earlier movements. Hopefully, the listener will appreciate these musings on the nature of music as something that can be both conceived in the mind and felt by the senses.
Commissioned by a Consortium of University Saxophonists
Prof. Peter Sommer - Colorado State University Dr. James Bunte - Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Dr. Dave Camwell - Troy University Dr. Nathan Nabb - Stephen F. Austin State University Dr. Stephen Page - University of Texas - Austin Dr. James Romain - Drake University Dr. Masahito Sugihara - Sam Houston State University Dr. Scott Turpen - University of Wyoming Dr. Dan Goble - Colorado State University