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Chamber Sonata : for alto saxophone, cello and organ

by Brett McKern (2016)

Chamber Sonata


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Score & Part

Chamber Sonata : for alto saxophone, cello and organ / music by Brett McKern.

Library shelf no. 785.2413/MCK 1 [Not for loan]

Work Overview

This Sonata employs the standard three movement form. The opening movement starts with each performer offstage, the saxophone and cello playing as they walk onto the stage. Their search for tonality and synchronicity, begins with just a few notes. A motive develops for each instrument; the cello begins with open strings, the organ part with a small diatonic cluster, and the three instruments eventually come together as an ensemble. Once they do, the search for a tonality continues until A Major emerges at the end of the movement. The Scherzo is lively and light-hearted and is in triple time, albeit with a twist. The movement is a palindrome. There is an ├Žolian feel to the tonality, but this varies as the movement progresses. The final movement starts with a brief Introduction. It moves from an understated opening with a short four-note melodic motive through its deconstruction to three notes, two and then one. As this occurs the dynamics rise to an insistent repetition of the final chord. This angular ending leads to a more melodious five-voice fugue which uses the ├Žolian tonality of the second movement and eventually returns to the A tonal centre of the first movement. Given the vast differences between organs it is difficult to specify registration, thus adjustments in dynamics and registration may need to be made for the purposes of balance. The dynamics in the score are for a small organ but provide an indication of the intended sound.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Alto saxophone, cello, organ.

Duration: 11 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: I. Centratura (c.5 min.) -- II. Scherzo (c.1 min., 50 sec.) -- III. Introduzione e Fuga (c.4 min., 10 sec.).


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