Rock Me! captures the relentless driving energy, rhythms and beats found in many forms of rock music. A rapid and unwavering tempo, a gradual increase of the musical density and the exploration of an extensive range of colourful dynamics is vital in the performance of this piece. At times the saxophonist must simulate various other instruments including didgeridoo, electric bass, drum kit, distorted guitar and occasionally even acoustic saxophone.
Performed by Barry Cockcroft
Blue Tongue is a solo piece in a blues style with a theatrical element to be performed with a sense of humour. After a brief rubato introduction, the rhythm and pulse must remain relentless with a gradual increase in the dynamics and intensity of the piece. From figure D the clarinetist should gradually disassemble their instrument while playing. As the instrument gets shorter, the music should maintain its flow right up to the final note played on just the mouthpiece. The actual pitch in the final section will depend upon the particular instrument of each player, so don’t be too concerned with precision of pitch, the gesture is more important. The written notes indicate the fingering to be used rather than the exact pitch. Ample amounts of cork grease may be required to ensure that the clarinet comes apart smoothly and quickly.
Breathing and phrasing will depend upon each individual clarinetist. Bracketed notes may be omitted to allow for quick breaths if required. Grace notes can be lazy, tremolos should be played fast, articulation crisp rather than legato and slides should be played smoothly like a portamento. If the slides are impractical, the alternate written notes may be played.
The piece should be played with a sense of humour and creative ways of taking apart the clarinet could be employed. For example, gradually putting the pieces of the clarinet into the case and then walking off stage at the end...
Performed live by Rompduo
Performed live by saxophonist Joseph Lulloff and pianist Jun Okada.
Performed by Rompduo
Crazy Logic (for alto saxophone and piano, 2006) was composed at the invitation of saxophonist Barry Cockcroft and pianist Adam Pinto (RompDuo) for premiere performance at the 2006 Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, VIC, Australia.
Subsequent performances of the work include:
• Gerard McChrystal (saxophone) & Mary Dullea (pianist) @ Wigmore Hall, London, UK;
• Barry Cockcroft (saxophone) & Darrell Partin (piano) @ the 34th International Saxophone Symposium, Fairfax, VA, USA;
• Anhinga PianoSAX Duo @ 2011 North American Saxophone Alliance Region 4 Conference, Huntsville, Texas, USA;
• Jabra Latham (saxophone) & Karen Smithies (pianist) at The Ballroom, Epsom House, Pontville, Tasmania, Australia;
• RompDuo @ 2011 Australian Clarinet and Saxophone Symposium, Melbourne, Australia;
• Tim Roberts (sax) & Renate Rohlfing (piano) @ Selmer Paris Dragon Bird Event, Steinway Hall, NYC, NY, USA.
In composing the work, I have chosen to use musical ideas of a mostly intense and driving nature. My melodic lines comprise semiquavers which twist, scurry, and traverse up, down and around the musical staves at a great pace.
Furthermore, the two instrumentalists often play in unison or at the octave, lending added urgency and directness to the music.
While a softer, more reflective mood is revealed at the heart of the work, it is the energetic music with its chromatic kinks, jagged contours and wide leaps that elicits, for me, the ‘crazy’ mood alluded to in the work’s title.
In stitching my ‘crazy’ music together, I have aimed to afford the work a certain logic by virtue of balanced phrasing and fluent transitions between sections of the work.
I thank Barry and Adam for inviting me to compose this work and for giving the work its premiere performance. M.O.
Performed by Kenneth Tse
Also available for Alto Saxophone
Antonio Pasculli was born on October 13th, 1842 in Palermo. He began his career as a virtuosic oboist at the age of 14 and by the time he was 18, was professor of oboe and English horn at the Regio Conservatorio di Palermo, a position he held until he became blind in 1913.
He was appointed director of the Corpo Municipale di Musica di Palermo in 1879, but due to his advancing blindness he withdrew from active concert life in 1884 and lived until 1924. Pasculli composed numerous fantasies for oboe and orchestra on themes from the operas of Bellini, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, Rossini and Verdi. His compositions were often considered to be too difficult to be performed and therefore were forgotten by oboists until modern times.
Le Api for oboe and piano was first published in 1905 and was dedicated to the Conservatorio di Musica di Palermo. Although similar to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumble Bee, Le Api was written first, and is part of the three virtuosic studies Pasculli wrote for the oboe. From a postscript to the third study we learn that these were first performed in the big hall of the Conservatorio di musica in Milan on July 14, 1874.
The long legato ties are performed with circular breathing and there is only one place where the player can take a breath (break between phrases) in the entire piece.