Minor Details

Writing for saxophones is secretly my favorite task; either paired with other instruments, or together in a quartet as they are here, saxophones have a certain sultry and delicious range of expressive capabilities. For this quartet, I wanted to exploit that wide range in as many different ways as I could. The first movement is concerned with a small melody that the soprano and alto saxes introduce at the outset; the music is smooth and rocky in turns, alternatively harnessing the instruments’ natural inclination to blend with each other, and trying its best to thwart it. A short, frantic second movement follows, made entirely of canonic mountains and valleys that delight in using the highest range of the saxophone. The final movement is soft and somewhat mischievous: a tapestry constantly in motion is bookended by two quiet, rhythmically-staid sections. Minor Details was commissioned by Dynamic Music Festival, is dedicated to the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, and lasts approximately eleven minutes.


Manhattan Saxophone Quartet

instrumentation saxophone quartet
premiere February 28, 2015; Dynamic Music Festival, Frederick Loewe Theatre, New York, NY
written November-December 2014
duration 11′

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