• Tristan Keuris
  • Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra (1986)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Rascher Saxophone Quartet and made possible with a grant from the Dutch Government.

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  • Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
  • 23 min

Programme Note

TRISTAN KEURIS Concerto for Saxophone Quartet & Orchestra (1986)

I heard the Rascher Saxophone Quartet on several occasions and decided to compose two works for them. First came the Music for Saxophones, a quartet on which the concerto is based. I wanted to study the possibilities of the Rascher Quartet by trying out my ideas in a chamber setting first.

The Concerto is a non-thematic piece. The motive presented at the very beginning of the composition is varied and developed throughout the work. The piece is a long chain, where every link is connected with its neighbour, but each link is a little different. This technique of composition gives the concerto real unity of form and also offered me a great deal of freedom.
As I worked on the concerto, I often had the strong feeling I was writing a transcription of a (non-existent) organ symphony. I treat the solo quartet primarily as one instrument, all the voices equally used, with only incidental solos.

The piece has an introductory section; a 'rondo burlesque' which is followed by a long cadenza and a slow movement, followed by a free capitulation of the introduction. A coda based on the rondo burlesque concludes the work.

@ Tristan Keuris