Cinnamon Concerto

For Solo Eb Alto Saxophone and Piano

Duration: c. xx minutes

 

Audio:

 

 

 

Publisher: STUDIO MUSIC COMPANY

 

Programme Notes:

My CINNAMON CONCERTO was commissioned by and is dedicated to Nobuya Sugawa. The work is cast in three contrasting movements all influenced by various aspects of jazz music as perceived in the popular vernacular:

 

1. The Fast Lane

The opening movement is cast in sonata form. A solo timpanist opens the piece with a motif that is central to the whole 1st subject material. This is immediately echoed by muted brass, quickly followed by the 1st subject proper in the solo saxophone. This is a quirky idea that is subjected to a series of variations and developments by both band and soloist alike. The 2nd subject is not long in arriving and is a much more lyrical and expressive theme than its counterpart. Thereafter these two ideas are represented in a continually developing essay only interrupted by a very transparently scored section in a somewhat ‘Southern-States sleezy-blues’ fashion accompanied chiefly by a marimba ostinato figuration. The initial mood is returned to and the main subjects passed between each other before a solo cadenza passage leads to a swift conclusion.

 

2. The Night Hawks

The central slow movement is a gently unfolding cantabile aria. The band apply additional colours in the form of harp, cor anglais and alto clarinet. There are moments of reflection and some sustained climactic moments in both soloist and band alike. Many solo performers emerge from within the band and engage in brief conversations with the soloist. This all builds towards a central outburst (written in the same tempo although it appears aurally to be faster) after which the soloist and band resume the opening material to a final climax followed by a concluding codetta and last sigh (goodbye) from the solo saxophone.

 

3. The Razzle Dazzle!

The finale is an ‘all-American’ dance-style scherzando played throughout in ‘swing’ idiom. The opening band ritornello provides a reference point between sections and the soon emerging soloist presents his 1st motif soon after. The structure is basically that of a series of interludes where both soloist and band compete for centre stage. The percussion section contribute in an insistent and colourful way throughout and the string bass player (as in all movements in the piece) has much to deliver in order to produce the appropriate style. As the gears continue to increase in velocity we eventually reach a ‘wild’ con bravura cadenza by the soloist which is accompanied by the percussion section only. This is presented in the highest altissimo register of the saxophone and is extremely virtuosic. The opening ritornello makes its final appearance with the soloist in full defiance and the work comes to a dynamic and dramatic conclusion.

 

 

Instrumentation:

Solo Eb Alto Saxophone

Piano

 

Performance Notes:

It should be remembered that this work is essentially an ‘entertainment’ and that the best way to deliver it is to approach it as a ‘serious’ piece – this will provide the necessary attention to idiom and style and improve the audience response enormously!


Available Recordings: