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Op. 26b - three scherzi

for Alto Saxophone

(2013)

I. Allegro Animato
II. Adagio Espressivo
III. Freely - Vivo Scherzando

Program Notes: My Three Scherzi for Solo Oboe, Op. 26 are written for and dedicated to Los Angeles oboist Rong-Huey Liu and arranged for Solo Alto Saxophone for Michael Mortarotti and Clarinet for Andrew Leonard. These short yet demanding pieces require a keen sense of control and masterful musicianship for this fastidious instrument. The first movement, marked Allegro Animato, opens with a playful theme in F Major before it takes a few chromatic twists and turns and descends to a point of stability. It quickly builds back up for a dramatic return of the theme followed by a swift transition into a sprightly middle section. After a chromatic ascent and decent build upon the early thematic rhythms, a definitive return to the opening material is heard and a quirky conclusion is ushered in. The second movement, Adagio Expressivo, is a sensual outpouring of longing. The melancholic theme, with hints of hope, endlessly grows and develops at both its highest and lowest points. A smooth transition back into the introductory material heralds an evolved variation of the theme and concludes with a whimsical F-Sharp Major scalar passage before reaching home. The third movement, Freely;Vivo Scherzando, is a perpetuum mobile of sorts. It opens with a plaintive theme that is quickly transformed into the aggressive and rhythmically unstable scherzando. The regularly shifting time signature and recurring accented interval of a minor third become the driving force of this short etude-like scherzo. After reaching a peak of frenzy, the music winds down and returns to a slightly varied form of the free, opening theme. Just when one feels at rest, a heightened sense of instability and virtuosity are demanded before reaching the final, calming folk-like calls before a sudden final vivo appears to bring the cycle to a dramatic close.

Performance History:

-June 11th, 2013; No. 3; San Bernardino Symphony Donors Event; San Bernardino, California – 8PM

-November 13th, 2013; Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-July 16th, 2014; No. 1; Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-August 29th, 2018; Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-November 21st, 2019; No. 2; University of Tennessee at Knoxville; Natalie Haslam Music Center; Sandra G. Powell Recital; Knoxville, Tennessee – 6PM

-November 23rd, 2019; No. 2; Mars Hill University; Recital Hall; Mars Hill, North Carolina – 3PM

-January 4th, 2020; No. 2; NewMusicShelf Saxophone Anthology Recital; Marc A. Scorca Hall at The National Opera Center; New York, New York – 7PM

-March 24th, 2021; Civic Morning Musicals; Livestream; Syracuse, New York – 12PM

 

George N. Gianopoulos

composer