Paul Creston – Sonata op.19 for alto saxophone

This piece is the only one out of the given section of solo woodwind instrument pieces, which is being accompanied by another instrument, the piano. The melody gives away a jazzy sounding mood, it also sounds slightly oriental, due to the unregulated use of a pentatonic scale.

It starts rather fast and presents a jolly sounding melody, the short second part makes a strong contrast with long noted and a rather melancholic melody, but the melody quickly comes back to its original mood. In a third part, which comes after the fist repetition of the main theme, a variation of the main theme can be heard, which then leads to a third repetition with a different ending.

It is hard to tell whether the piano is only supposed to play in the background. There are parts, where the piano plays the main theme, whilst the saxophone accompanies as well. Both of them work very well together throughout the whole piece, not only with the harmony and dynamics, but they also provide a “warm colored” sound.


I personally really enjoyed listening to this piece, because,eventhough it’ generally very fast, it still has a calm, relaxing atmosphere, especially at the second part of the piece. Otherwise I think that Creston created a great climate by letting the piano mostly playing chords, often very softly, instead of just one note.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s