composition

Sextet, "The Infinite Possibilities of Music"

for Alto Saxophone, String Quartet, and Chimes

  • Genre
    Chamber
  • Commissioned by/written for
    Eugene Rousseau
  • Year completed
    2016
  • Year revised
  • Timing
    16:30
  • Catalog number
    254
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My Sextet for Clarinet & String Quartet with Chimes was originally commissioned by Australian clarinetist Robert Schubert and written between February 3rd, and March 4th of 2014. The work is cast in four movements, the third of which has an extended duet for the wind and chimes players. Desiring to make a version of this work for my friend, Eugene Rousseau, I undertook this version in late 2015, and completed it in March of 2016. Rousseau is iconic in the saxophone world, and is also the dedicatee of numerous works by various composers, including my popular Concerto after Glière. This work, however, is not a mere transcription of the clarinet quintet for alto saxophone. While it does retain all of the string and chimes parts virtually unmodified, the wind part has been completely re-written in order to create an essentially new work. The subtitle, "The infinite possibilities of music" was chosen to demonstrate how one part of a piece could have been written completely differently and still be equally effective to that of the original version. In the first movement, I deleted one measure at a time from the clarinet version of this work, and recomposed a new wind part on the spot, in most cases similar to what had been in the clarinet. As I worked through the revision, however, I began deleting increasing numbers of measures in advance of my re-working them for the saxophone. Consequently, the saxophone part of the latter portion of the work bears less and less similarity to the clarinet part of the first version. To complement this work, I am planning to write a Quintet for English Horn and String Quartet that will retain the saxophone part (as much as possible, given the slightly differing ranges of the two instruments, while recomposing the string quartet parts. Consequently, the third quintet will be almost a completely different work from the first, retaining only tempi, meter signatures and number of measures in each movement.

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