• Helen Grime
  • Shadowplay (2011)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Shadowplay for soprano saxophone and piano was commissioned by Audrey Innes. The work was premiered at the World Saxophone Congress XVI in St. Andrews in July 2012 and played by Rocio Banyuls Bertomeu (soprano saxophone) and Audrey Innes (piano).

  • ssx/pf
  • 6 min

Programme Note

I. Largo
II. Calmo –
III. Vivo

Shadowplay for soprano saxophone and piano was commissioned by Audrey Innes. The work was premiered at the World Saxophone Congress XVI in St Andrews, Scotland, in July 2012 performed by saxophonist Rocio Banyuls Bertomeu and pianist Audrey Innes.

Lasting around six minutes, the piece falls into three short movements. In the first, a long saxophone melody gradually emerges from loud, resounding piano chords. At first very quiet and gentle, the melody becomes more ornate and active, rising from the instrument’s lowest register and reaching an impassioned climax very high up. Retracting into the resonance of the piano once again, the saxophone line becomes more playful. Surrounded by deep bass notes and melancholy chords in the piano, this movement gently disperses. The second movement is for unaccompanied saxophone. Cadenza-like in character, muted melodic fragments are juxtaposed with quicker, more aggressive outbursts. Towards the end of the movement the two materials combine leading directly into the final section of the piece. The third movement is fast and lively with virtuosic passages for both players. The piano begins alone with a lively staccato figure interrupted by bursts or faster material. The saxophone joins in with the muted melody reminiscent of the second movement while the piano contrasts this with spikier gestures before the two come together in an animated final section.

Programme note © 2011 Helen Grime

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