composition

Concerto after Tchaikovsky (Концерт в стиле Чайковского)

for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra

  • Genre
    Solo Instrument with Orchestra
  • Commissioned by/written for
    Allan Yi Yang
  • Year completed
    2013
  • Year revised
  • Timing
    21:00
  • Catalog number
    236
  • 48
    copies sold
  • 2
    known performances
  • General notes
    Also exists in a version for soprano saxophone and piano
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Concerto after Tchaikovsky was begun on May 20, 2013 and completed the following August 18th. During the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland in July of 2012, Australian saxophonist, Allan Yang, had approached me with the idea of writing something in the style of Tchaikovsky. I had, up to that point, written works for saxophone modeled after Glière and Brahms, and before the writing of this concerto added Joplin, Poulenc, and Schumann to the list, so I was quite receptive to the idea of doing something in the style of the most-beloved of all Russian composers. Work on the piece had to wait, however, until the spring of 2013, due to other compositional commitments.The commissioning fee was provided by Nick Lee, a patron of the arts in Melbourne, Australia, where the work was premiered by its dedicatee on November 23, 2013. The concerto was commissioned by Yang in honor of his girlfriend, Ni Chen. Concerto after Tchaikovsky is cast in the traditional three movements, and is very loosely modeled on Tchaikovsky's much-loved violin concerto. Consequently, there is a cadenza in the first movement before the recapitulation, akin to that in the violin concerto. The listener will also note figuration drawn from the final movement of that work, but the movement also captures the spirit of the "Trepak" in the Nutcracker Ballet. The centerpiece of the concerto is a gentle slow movement in which I attempted to fulfill Yang's request for a beautiful and lyrical melody. Throughout the work, I sought to evoke the spirit of Tchaikovsky through melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and orchestrational means. While there are no deliberate quotes from any of Tchaikovsky's music, some of the gestures are likely to be found somewhere in his voluminous output. Recognizing that, as in other works in his "after" series, some of his own fingerprints showed up in the work, I made no effort to suppress any vestiges of my own style. The work was premiered by the dedicatee, conductor John Ferguson, and the Pro-Musica Orchestra of Melbourne on November 23, 2013.

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