Sonata for the Baritone Saxophonist
The first of its kind - a 4 mvmt sonata for bari sax and piano that increases in difficulty from an advanced high school to a professional level. Each movement contains both pedagogical and creative goals. More information about this can be found in the perusal score linked below.
I am providing the 1st mvmt at no cost as a further means of giving back to the community.
I. Inner Odyssey: Comfort and Musicianship
This serves as the first foray into concert repertoire on bari sax. The first movement of Paul Creston’s Sonata often exemplifies this exact purpose on Alto. As a rarity in saxophone repertoire, the first movement is in sonata form. This movement introduces, to saxophonists, how a piece can serve as a commentary on itself.
II. Dances of Distinct Hues: Articulation and Cleanliness
Once one is comfortable on bari, the common frustration is often creating clean and clear energy through articulation. Starting and stopping sound on a bigger instrument is inherently more challenging. Producing clean leaps is also a challenge presented in this movement. I was inspired by the clarity of Henri Tomasi’s Saxophone Concerto, which demonstrates these challenges on Alto.
III. The Moat of Memories: Altissimo and Intonation
Developing the altissimo register on bari is often neglected until it's called for in quartet repertoire. Because this skill is often underdeveloped compared to our alto altissimo, it can feel and sound unnatural. This movement is intended to challenge this notion. Allow the altissimo register to sing organically! I was thinking of the second movement of Lars-Erik Larsson’s Saxophone Concerto when writing this more vulnerable movement.
IV. Untamed, Unkept, Unhinged: Complete Mastery
How far can we push the capabilities of virtuosity on our instrument? Can it be as facile and agile as the higher-pitched saxophones? Can we make the audience's jaw drop by showcasing our instrument in a way that seems antithetical to its low nature? I think so! To my knowledge, at the time of writing this there were no other pieces for bari built upon demanding virtuosic fundamentals as this movement is. The absurdity of the last movement of William Albright’s Sonata for Alto Saxophone set the bar for the intensely chaotic energy of this movement.