Luke Bedford: Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra

Luke Bedford Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra
Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra

Luke Bedford: Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra

Year of composition:
2017
Scored for:
for saxophone quartet and orchestra
Composer:
Luke Bedford
Soloists:
Soprano saxophone, Alto saxophone, Tenor saxophone, Baritone saxophone
Instrumentation:
2 2 2 2 - 2 2 2 0 - perc(2), hp, pno, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
clarinet in Eb
clarinet in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
1st percussion
2nd percussion
piano
harp
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
double bass
Commission:
Kompositionsauftrag des Arcis Saxophon Quartetts, gefördert durch die Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung
Duration:
22’
Dedication:
For the Arcis Saxophon Quartett
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

I – Fast
II – Expressive
III – Explosive
IV – Still
V – Tense
VI – Tender

A work for saxophone quartet and orchestra has the potential for division. Saxophones are something of outsiders in the orchestral world, only occasionally called upon. And yet four saxophones have the power to dominate an entire orchestra. I wanted to create a work where both the quartet and the orchestra share ideas and allow each other to sing. There is drama in every movement, but the instruments face it together. 

Of the six movements, the odd-numbered movements tend to be dynamic and louder. Even here, the full power of the saxophones and orchestra is often restrained. The opening starts loudly with the introduction of a falling figure that erratically grows in strength and speed. The third is a series of fortissimos, which quickly exhaust themselves. This music reappears in a distorted form as the climax in the fifth movement, erupting dramatically out of its very quietest moment. Leading to this, a staccato figure grows and shrinks against a constant, uneasy background of bass drum or tam-tam. 

The even-numbered movements tend to be more subtle: both the second and sixth are lyrical and expressive. The fourth has the whole quartet playing soft multiphonics, creating a sound similar to that most delicate instrument: the glass harmonica. The work closes with the sound of the orchestra disappearing, leaving just the soft fluttering of the keys of saxophones. 

The piece is dedicated to the Arcis Saxophon Quartett. 

Luke Bedford

Special prints

Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra

Luke Bedford: Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra

study score
for saxophone quartet and orchestra , 22’
Instr.: 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 2 0 - perc(2), hp, pno, str

World première

Location:
Berlin
Date:
18.10.2017
Orchestra:
Deutsches SO Berlin
Conductor:
Ben Gernon

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