Elegy after Brahms (Elegie nach Brahms)

for Alto Saxophone and Piano

  • Genre
  • Commissioned by/written for
    Thomas Liley
  • Year completed
  • Year revised
  • Timing
  • Catalog number
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    known performances
  • General notes
    In Fond Memory of Dr. Thomas Liley
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Elegy after Brahms is an arrangement of the slow movement of my Trio after Brahms for alto saxophone, violin and piano. This arrangement was undertaken at the suggestion of Thomas Liley, for whom I had written the trio a year earlier. The adagio movement, unlike the other movements of the trio, permitted such an arrangement without sacrificing too much of the spirit of the original work, and is intended as a piece in an older style for saxophonists who are looking for more original romantic music for their instrument. The present work was originally titled Romance after Brahms, but shortly after Ir had sent it to Liley, I received word of his passing, and at that point renamed the work in the memory of my dear friend. The trio itself had been written in an attempt to fill void of original romantic saxophone music. While I had and have no delusions about being another Brahms, I agreed to attempt to write such a work, given that I myself love Brahms' music, and know it well. In fact, even though unlike my Concerto after Glière, which utilized some of Gliere's own music along with original music by me, in the trio I have not quoted anything from Brahms' own output. There are, however, likely phrases, chord sequences and other such things that could be found somewhere in the music of this composer. This arrangement removes the violin part, giving its lines in large measure to the saxophone, and to a lesser extent to the piano.

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