This program shows the saxophone, one of the most versatile and expressive wind instruments, engaged with a repertoire taken from the Romantic period through transcriptions of pieces written by some of the most significant composers of that period, namely Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms.
Sonata in La minore D 821, “Arpeggione”
Franz Schubert (1797–1828) (Transc. Alex Sebastianutto)
Sonata composed by Schubert in 1824 characterized by an extremely elegant melodic line. The first movement, Allegro moderato, has a pleasant and slightly melancholic development: the theme announced by the piano returns several times and is varied with virtuosic touch by the saxophone, whose sound unfolds in a series of caressing modulations between the major and the minor. The Adagio in E Major is filled with a sweet and soft lyricism, controlled and cantabile. The final Allegretto is a Viennese dance rhythm in rondo time; the divertissement is characterized by Schubertian harmonies and has the flavor of “home music” for a few close friends, in the name of the most sincere and warm friendship.
Robert Schumann (1810–1856) (Transc. Alex Sebastianutto)
Zart und mit Ausdruck
Rasch, mit Feuer
Phantasiestücke, opera 73, written by Schumann in 1849, belongs to a nucleus of compositions intended for private performance, in the way of Hausmusik (“home music”). It is therefore necessary to refer to the needs of “making music together” to understand the limited extension of these compositions, the friendliness of their content, the fact that they are not intended for a single instrument but that a choice between different instrumental solutions is indicated ad libitum.
Originally called Soireestücke, the Phantasiestücke is a single piece divided into three contrasting sections. The composition develops following a musical path that progressively accelerates rhythm and increases the tension from one section to another. From the initial nostalgic lyricism, they move on to the greater turmoil of the central section and to the final climax, even if tempered by some intimate moments.
Sonata in Mi bemolle maggiore op. 120 n. 2
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) (Transc. Alex Sebastianutto)
Allegro appassionato. Trio: Sostenuto
Andante con moto. Tema con variazioni. Allegro
Sonata in E flat major op. 120 n. 2 of 1894 shows a nostalgic yet dignified and controlled Brahms: bent over himself in search of lost time, but still gifted and master of the necessary intensity and depth of thought. From the point of view of the expressive content, the second sonata is full of unexpected and unusual solutions and of lyrical shading alternating with emotional outburst that at times recalls the Schumann of the Phantasiestücke, to the point of almost evoking its sonority and “Stimmung” (mood).