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McKenzie Sawers Duo performance

McKenzie Sawers Duo / classical, contemporary

Website(s) : http://www.mckenziesawersduo.com / http://www.suemckenziesaxophone.com

Sue McKenzie proposes a program of two pieces for soprano saxophone and piano, exploring the ranges and shapes of her instrument’s sound.

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Biography

Sue McKenzie (D’Addario Woodwinds Artist / Assistant Director, 16th World Sax Congress) and Ingrid Sawers are a critically acclaimed duo who are passionate about promoting traditional and new music for saxophone and piano.  They have given many UK / Scottish premieres and performances include 15th World Saxophone Congress (Bangkok), The Forge (London), International Chamber Music Matters Conference and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Their debut CD, “The Coral Sea”, was released on Delphian Records in April 2012. With kind support from Creative Scotland, McKenzie Sawers Duo will tour venues in Scotland (April/May 2015), performing music written by Scottish composers Judith Weir, Cecilia McDowall and James MacMillan. As well as new commissions by Andrew Keeling and Martin Green (Lau).

More informations

Ian Wilson – Drive
Written in 1992, Drive’s essentially tripartite structure (framed by Intro and Coda) explores different facets of the soprano saxophone: the first section is bright and bouncy, exploring the upper medium range of the instrument, whereas the slower, more thoughtful second section exploits its lower range. In both these sections the lyrical saxophone line is continuously punctuated by block chords in the piano which always appear in the rhythmic gaps between the saxophone’s notes, creating a kind of hocketing; these harmonies are purely intuitive rather than belonging to any mode or key and therefore some surprising twists and turns arise. A short unaccompanied saxophone passage leads to the expansive third section, high up in the instrument’s range. Here the piano at last breaks out of its chordal mode, playing instead arpeggiated figures which are more supportive of the floating texture.
The work’s title relates to the propulsive rhythm of the first main section.

Cecilia McDowall – Mein Blaues Klavier

Mein Blaues Klavier, a duo for soprano saxophone and piano written in 2006, finds its inspiration in the poem Mein blaues Klavier (My blue piano) written during the Second World War (1943) by the German Expressionist, Else Lasker-Schüler. Though the composition is essentially abstract the fractured, tilted world of the poem pervades the piece; it is as if the broken, disused piano, standing in shadow, is a metaphor for all that has been lost in wartime. The work opens with a bright-edged four note motif which then becomes fragmented; it takes many shapes before its final utterance, narrowing down to a single note at the end of the final section. The central section of Mein blaues Klavier is a lament in which the two instruments intertwine their melodies over a falling bass line.

Judith Weir – Sketches from a Bagpiper’s Album (3rd mov – Lament, over the sea)

These three pieces form a very short instrumental opera based on the life of James Reid, a bagpiper in Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army, who was captures by the English in 1746 and executed, after a judge had classified the bagpipes as a weapon.

The melodies were built out of the basic intervals of Scottish pipe tunes: the piano is used to reinforce and modulate the saxophone melody, rather than to accompany it.
Sketches from a Bagpiper’s Album was written in 1984 for the clarinettist Kevin Corner.

Programming

13/07/2015 09:30 - 10:00

Cité de la musique et de la danse - Salle 23

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Musicians / speakers

  • mckenzie sue / baritone saxophone (United Kingdom)
  • Sawers Ingrid / Piano (United Kingdom)

Program

  • Drive (Ian Wilson)
  • Mein Blaues Klavier

Official SPONSORS

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