‘Episodes from a Concerto’ is a version for soloist and chamber orchestra of my concert for saxophone and large orchestra from 2004, performed by Jeanette Balland and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. This version is a recomposition of sections from the big orchestra version, that are suited to a smaller format, hence the title Episodes from a Concerto.
The 1st movement is written for baritone saxophone, the deepest of the four main members of the saxophone family. Its wide register – from the raw deeper tones, to the sonorous mid-range, to the tense higher tones – is fully expressed in a music about energy and steady progress. But a couple of times along the way, it is as if everything is ‘turned off’ – whilst at other times, it is gaining speed!
In the 2nd movement the soloist changes to an alto saxophone. The movement is wavy, almost without shape, characterised by fluid, microtonal melodies and alternating light and dark timbre.
The 3rd movement Interlock is actually a type of rondo, or rather a rhythmic double rondo. There are two machine-like repetitive rhythmic patterns that intertwine like gears. Around the middle of the movement time becomes elastic, the motoric music pace decreases into slow motion and thins out: a lyrical moment briefly overtakes the movement. In the end (coda) the soloist grabs the baritone saxophone once again.