Carr Paul: Double Saxophone Concerto

This concerto, written 10 years ago, was composed especially for tonight’s soloists, Andrew Sutton (soprano sax) and Andrew Franks (alto sax). It was first performed in June 1994. The composer acknowledges this work as belonging to his “light romantic period”. He has since moved on to writing scores for TV and film, along with a variety of classical works for piano, flute, guitar, viola and harp. In tonight’s concerto the composer uses the different qualities of the instruments in harmonic interplay; a sensual alto sax against the clear, clean tone of the soprano sax. Throughout, the saxophones are in constant discussion, with orchestral support and occasional dominance.

There are three movements. The first (allegro vivo) starts rather wistfully on flute and soprano sax, with the alto sax entering to immediately form the spontaneous tripartite between saxophones and orchestra.

The second movement is a long, slow andante cantabile, where the two saxophones enact a seductive kind of courtship, rising to a climax towards the end of the movement and then dissolving into stillness during the final bars.

The final movement (vivace) ends the work in celebratory fashion and includes an extended cadenza for the two soloists.