Click the links below to see and hear each movement.
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This “Micro-Suite” began life as a work for three clarinets; it now exists in several formats, including the present configuration of saxophone quartet (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone). Each of the seven movements consists of just thirty-two bars, and motifs and melodies reoccur throughout the piece. In the opening Prelude, the quartet plays in rhythmic unison throughout, while in the following Fanfare, the quartet is divided into two duos. The third movement, Dance, takes its opening material from the first movement, and features a lyrical central section. The energetic Intermezzo fourth movement is followed by a lyrical Romance, featuring a yearning melody presented by a solo tenor saxophone. The sixth movement, a short Scherzo, uses material from the Intermezzo, and is again homophonic throughout. The Postlude begins with an imitative version of the very opening melody of the whole work. In the coda, the quartet again plays homophonically with writhing arpeggios, before the whole suite ends quietly and mysteriously with a further reference to the main theme.