• Joan Tower
  • Second Flight (2017)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • alto saxophone
  • 8 min

Programme Note

Watch Ken Radnofsky's performance

Joan Tower's Second Flight, for solo alto saxophone, is her sequel to the highly acclaimed Wings, originally for clarinet, and later transcribed for saxophone.

The World-Wide Concurrent Premieres and Commissioning Fund, an organization founded by Ken Radnofsky twenty-five years ago, organized the co-commission of Second Flight by fifty saxophonists. Their premieres took place around the world beginning September 30, 2018.

Composer note
I followed some of the imagery of flying from Wings — my clarinet solo from 1981 — in Second Flight (which also includes a snippet of music from that earlier work).

To me, the saxophone matches the power of the clarinet in its ability to do so many different things — its slow-to-fast speeds, soft-to-loud dynamics, short-to-long notes, and huge register — which gives it a great musical expressive flexibility.

This all inspired me — again — to think of something powerful that flies high and wide above a large landscape.

— Joan Tower