White On Black
Duration (in minutes): 6'39;
Difficulty: Medium (college/community)
Publisher: Subito Music Corporation
Description: Concerto for saxophone quartet and concert band
Soloists: saxophone quartet (sop.alt.ten.bar)
Prem: 11/18/83; The New York Institute of Technology, American Concert Band Award Winner, Symposium XV for New Band Music, Radford, VA
White on Black, so named because it was written by a white person in a style inspired by the black jazz tradition. Each of the four saxes has his own personality: the soprano sax is high strung and somewhat neurotic; the alto sax is mellow and a smooth talker; the tenor sax is light hearted and a bit of a clown; and the baritone sax is a jock with swaggering bravado. These personalities identify themselves at the opening of the piece and are intoriduced by the full ensemble playing the work’s main theme, a rhythmic big band-style tutti. The ensemble remarks to each other as each sax makes its appearance, like spectators watching a parade. The main theme re-appears in a rondo-like form, separating the various solo sections and closing the work.