June Emerson Wind Music
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Printed Edition
Composer:Creston, Paul (1906-1985)
Instrumentation:sax/A. pft.
Publisher Ref:HL35020966
A conventional 3 movement sonata by a self-taught composer who went on to teach several successful American composers.

Price: £18.99
Skill Level:D
Publisher:Shawnee Press
Year of Issue:1945
ISMN:none specified
Born Giuseppe Guttoveggio to a Sicilian family in New York, Paul Creston's parents struggled to provide him with piano lessons, but he was largely self taught as a composer. This competed with his poetry writing and it was not until 1932 that he decided on music and gave an opus number to one of his works for the first time. Creston's 170 or so compositions are strongly rhythmic but rather conservative and cover a wide range of genres including orchestral work - he wrote six symphonies, concertos, keyboard, vocal and choral and music for the stage, TV and film, so that he was one of the most performed American composers of the 1940's and 50's. He combined composing with teaching and his successful students include a number of contemporary composers and jazz musicians.

With a composition date of 1939, the Opus 19 Eb Alto Saxophone Sonata is a quite early work. It follows the conventional format of a central slow movement framed by two quicker ones. With the vigour of its driving semi quavers, the first movement lives up to its name, relieved by short legato passages and occasional lilting triplet quavers. Most of the second movement is indeed tranquil but there is a very passionate outburst before the movement 'gradually fades away'. The knock about playfulness of the last movement is undermined by the brooding melody which starts at bar 110, but that is soon overtaken to end the movement and the piece in bravura style.

  • I With vigor
  • II With tranquility
  • III With gaiety

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