1980 (18 minutes)
Composed for: Works for soloist(s) & orchestra
First performed: (1st movement): Pekka Savijoki, saxophone, Turku City Orchestra, cond. Esa-Pekka Salonen, 2 February 1981First performance (Complete work): Pekka Savijoki, alto saxophone, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Esa-Pekka Salonen, Helsinki, 22 September
Instrumentation: solo alto saxophone - 2(pic)2(ca)2(bcl)2/4331/4perc/hp.pf(cel)/str
Kimmo Korhonen: ‘Salonen began writing his Saxophone Concerto in Milan in 1980 and completed it in the following year. Later, in 1983, Salonen revised the concerto, creating its present version. In the earlier version, each of the three movements was preceded by a fragment from Kafka's novel The Trial, but in the later version these headings have been omitted. Nevertheless, the work is also known by the original title of the second movement ‘... auf der ersten Blick und ohne zu wissen...’ (At first sight and without knowing).
The Saxophone Concerto was Salonen's first extensive work. He has cited a number of widely differing sources of inspiration for it, such as French Impressionism, Italian Modernism, American Minimalism and Sibelius's Seventh Symphony, all of which are no doubt included though fused into a single idiom. The work is characterised by a bright and lucid texture and rapid shifts from one texture to another. This is highlighted by the orchestration: the first movement has only winds and percussion in addition to the soloist, while the second movement only has percussion and the third movement has strings and percussion.‘
Published by: Chester Music Limited
Copyright: Kimmo Korhonen 1999 (tranlated by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi)