Click the links below to see and hear each movement.
John Hall (alto saxophone)
Carlo Massimo (piano)
The Sonatina for Alto Saxophone & Piano by Rob Hall was written during the summer of 2020 as the world was dealing with a pandemic. During the first wave of lockdowns I found myself experimenting with new approaches to composition I recorded several short improvisations on saxophone and transcribed them. Some of this material was then used and adapted for thematic material for this work. The concise nature of the improvisations has played out in a wider sense, particularly in the faster-paced outer movements. These are contrasted with a more expansive and exploratory slow middle movement, born of a more ruminative improvisation. The Sonatina makes full use of the saxophone’s range, including optional altissimo, and provides advanced players with virtuosity, colour and lyricism. Duration is approximately 8.5mins. Rob Hall (Apr 2023)
The spirit of the first movement ‘Allegro Inquieto’ (fast and restless) is effectively portrayed by the clever use of changing time signatures along with a rhythmic minor/major 3rd motif. The second movement in contrast has a timeless exploratory nature with the melodic line being delicately underpinned by rich but subtle harmony. As with the first movement, the writing effectively explores most of the standard compass of the saxophone. Movement 3, ‘Vivace Scillante’ (lively and glittering) is a high-octane roller coaster ride for both players involving extensive semiquaver passages and changing time signatures that give a strong sense of momentum driving the music to an exciting climax. This energetic and highly attractive work has been skilfully crafted for both soloist and accompanist alike and will prove to be a welcome addition to the concert repertoire. James Rae, (saxophonist and composer) May 2023