Programme Notes – Concertino for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble (2010)

This work is cast in a single movement and is loosely in variation form, but beginning with a florid cadenza-like passage for the soloist. A gentle, lyrical section in the style of a Gymnopedie is followed by a lively and virtuosic Allegro, which transforms in mood from carefree to something more agitated. At the centre of the work is a bluesy Andante in which members of the band, including a baritone sax and clarinettist interact and complement the soloist. An edgier Allegro culminates in a short but wild cadenza for the soloist. Following a climactic passage there is a recapitulation of the tranquil material from the beginning of the piece, and after a hushed duet with a flute and a memory of the very opening, the work ends in a flash of brilliance.

Concertino for Alto Saxophone was commissioned by the soloist Tim Watson with funds from the Arts Council of England, and lasts approximately thirteen minutes.