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Work of the Week – Fazıl Say: Preludes


Preludes for saxophone quartet, string orchestra and percussion will be premiered at the Brucknerhaus in Linz on 30 November by the The Raschèr Saxophone Quartet with Dennis Russell Davies conducting the Bruckner Orchester Linz.

Following from Say’s only other work for saxophone, Suite (2014), Preludes
is in four sections, each inspired by a literary classic: Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha”, Dostoyevsky’s “White Nights”, Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and Albert Camus’ “The Outsider”.  The composer borrows motifs from these complex emotional worlds and portrays them in the music: Oriental soundscapes — such as the middle-eastern dance rhythms in “The Outsider”, first appearing in the percussion and then adopted by the saxophone quartet — give the piece an exotic flavour.

All my compositions, as indeed my life does, take place between Eastern and Western musical lineages. Turkish music has a stronger rhythmical character, German music has a great history. Both cultures interact with each other. – Fazıl Say

The programme is repeated at the Vienna Musikverein on 1 December 2015 and the composer joins the orchestra for both concerts as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, KV 414.

photo: © Marco Borggreve