Jules Pegram SONATA FOR ALTO SAXOPHONE AND PIANO

SONATA FOR ALTO SAXOPHONE AND PIANO
(2013, rev.2016)

Duration: ca. 16 minutes

I. Whimsically, but relentless

II. Grave, molto rubato

III. Vivacissimo


Recordings

PROGRAM NOTE

When saxophonist Andrew Harrison first approached me about writing a piece for alto saxophone and piano, I jumped at the opportunity to write for a player of such superb abilities and fine musicianship. I was also delighted to learn that we share a mutual admiration for classic Hollywood film scores. Andrew expressed a special fondness for film noir soundtracks, such as Jerry Goldsmith’s Chinatown, Miklos Rozsa’s Double Indemnity, and Bernard Herrmann’s final score for the film Taxi Driver, with its dark thematic content and legendary sax solos.

In the first movement, the saxophone bolts forward with brilliance and energy. An equally virtuosic piano counterpart constantly amps up the tension, making for a lightning fast musical repartee.

The second movement demonstrates the lyric capacity and sonic richness of the saxophone. In setting this dark middle movement, I strove to write sweeping lines and lush, noir-inspired textures. The music here is lonesome and pensive, creating a warm atmosphere of haunting pathos.

The final movement is a jaunty escapade based on a lyrical, sweet melody. The tune meanders through a series of developments and variations, all the while showing off the saxophone’s extensive range, bright timbral possibilities, and extraordinary agility.

—Jules Pegram (2013)