composition

Brahms: How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place

for Saxophone Ensemble

  • Genre
    Arrangement
  • Commissioned by/written for
    Steven Stusek
  • Year completed
    2016
  • Year revised
  • Timing
    6:00
  • Catalog number
    255
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My arrangement of this beloved portion of the German Requiem of Johannes Brahms was originally written for saxophone quartet for the memorial service for the late saxophonist, scholar, and teacher, Dr. Thomas Liley, who was much loved and respected in the saxophone community. His sudden passing on January 22, 2013, came as a shock to our friendship having gone back many years. Indeed, I'd previously written my Trio after Brahms for this distinguished saxophonist after finding out that Brahms was his favorite composer. Thus, when I found out from Liley's widow, Nancy, that he had requested some years earlier that the present work be played at his memorial, I prepared in a single day an arrangement for saxophone quartet for the occasion. Also present at this event was saxophonist Steven Stusek, who approached me after hearing the quartet version and asked whether I would be willing to make a version for saxophone choir. I was quite willing but had to wait until 2016 to find the time to prepare the latter version, which was accomplished between March 30th and April 21st of that year and premiered by Stusek and his UNCG Saxophone Ensemble later the same year. Unlike the quartet version, which necessarily omitted some notes from the original orchestral version of the great German master, this arrangement covers virtually all of them among its 12 parts for various members of the saxophone family.

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