Sonata for baritone saxohone and piano
Sonata for Baritone Saxophone and Piano (2019) — Steve Cohen
My “Bari Sax Sonata” was written in the summer of 2019, in the course of about two months. I had previously written sonatas for soprano sax (2002), tenor sax (2009), and alto sax (2012), and it occurred to me that writing a fourth sonata would complete a cycle of sorts. There did not seem to be very much recital literature for baritone sax, and I felt an addition to the repertoire might meet with some acceptance.
The Sonata is in three movements, with a duration of about 13 minutes.
Andante moderato – Allegro agitato
The movement starts slowly, in E-flat minor, and accelerates to a quicker pace, marked with much call-and-response between the sax and piano. A theme from the opening comes back, played in augmentation by the sax over some sprightly syncopation in the piano.
The bari sax plays a sinuous melody in its high register, in A-flat Major, over sparse punctuation from the piano. The piano part gradually gets fuller, eventually taking over for a short solo. The sax returns and brings the melody to a peak, which subsides to end the movement.
Allegro, in 2
The movement begins in D-flat Major, with an angular fanfare. The main theme is busy and playful, with hints of be-bop. A secondary theme has the rhythm of the opening, over a steady chugging piano accompaniment. A contrasting middle section, in G-flat, has a smooth line for the sax, over some rippling chromaticism in the piano. The main themes return in new guises, and the piece ends with a resolute scramble down to the final cadence.
Sheet music for the Bari Sax Sonata is available as a PDF download at stevecohenmusic.net