for soprano saxophone in b-flat and organ, op. 68b (1978/1995)
In te domine speravi
Non confundar in aeternum
Schott Music ED 6814 ISMN: 979-0-001-07227-4
Saxophon solo part: ED 6814-01 / ISMN M-001-11489-9
Musicus CM 105
profundis", the first of the three "Invocations",
is based on the chorale "Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir" (after
the Psalm "From the depths I cry to you, oh Lord"). The organ
introduction expresses the "De profundis" ("From the
depths ") through a repeated descent from B-flat to A and a pedal-point
on E as a trill. After fanfare-like, constantly accelerating tone repetitions,
the solo instrument intones a motif formed out of the beginning of the chorale
melody and lets this sound on as an echo before then continuing to freely weave
the melody further. The organ passages then mount to increasingly high levels
of virtuosity, after which the saxophone presents the complete chorale melody
in free declamation, setting a very tranquil close with a double repetition of
the three last notes and then joining with the organ in a constantly intensifying
final section culminating in a triple forte with a brilliant tremolo (flutter-tonguing
in the saxophone).
The next two "Invocations" are based
on the the two final sections of the Te Deum. "In te Domine speravi"
("In you, Lord, have I hoped") starts with a recitation by the
solo instrument, corresponding to text, on f-sharp. Following an echo-like repetition,
the eight-note theme (quasi a setting of the text) enters espressivo, is developed
and - symbolising musically the increasing hope - intensified, until the climax
in fff brings the recitation to the note e, at which point the Invocatio
with theme and recitation gradually fades away as if to nothing.
confundar in aeternum" ("Do not let me be confounded for ever")
is opened with the theme, forte and in half-notes, by the solo instrument alone.
Subsequently, the organ contributes an ostinato figure in a manual and another
in the pedals. The Invocatio leads into a large-scale cadenza, fading out
in an echo. Something of the "De profundis" motif is to be heard
again, its call for help answered by the "Non confundar in aeternum",
resounding in unshakeable faith (ostinato accompaniment!), ebbing away then gradually
in a triple piano.
In its original form, the work was conceived for trumpet
and organ in 1978 as a commission for Freiburg Minster and received its first
performance on September 5th of the same year on the occasion of the Catholic
Convention. At the suggestion of the Canadian saxophonist Normand DesChênes,
I adapted the work in 1995 for saxophone and organ.