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Edison Denisov’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra Receives Dutch Premiere

The conductor Arjan Tien will direct Het Klassiek Collectief in the Dutch premiere of Edison Denisov’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra on 30 January 2016 in Amsterdam. The alto saxophonist Ties Mellema will be the soloist. Edison Denisov’s 1992 version for alto saxophone and orchestra is an adaptation of the Concerto for Viola and Orchestra that Denisov already composed in 1986. The alto saxophone version received its world premiere in September 1992 in Pesaro, Italy.

Edison Denisov (06.04.1929-24.11.1996) is considered, alongside Sofia Gubaidulina and Alfred Schnittke, one of the most important modern Russian composers.

Edison Denisov commented his work as follows:
“The Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra is a revised version of my Viola Concerto from 1986. The entire work aims towards the last movement, which consists of variations on the theme of Schubert’s Impromptu in A flat major. The last two movements are played without a break, and Schubert’s theme appears like a vision in the celesta, against the background of a gentle twelve-note chord. In this movement there are no variations in the traditional sense of the world; it is rather a case of music ‘around Schubert’. At times Schubert’s theme disappears completely in the musical texture (the melodic germ-cells and the rhythm remain), only to appear once again.
For me, Schubert’s music was always a symbol of music in general and of that which is eternal in art. I first quoted from ‘Die schöne Müllerin’ in my Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1977), and in 1995 I completed Schubert’s Opera ‘Lazarus’. The concerto is demanding for the soloist, but the virtuosity never comes to the surface (except in the third movement). It is more a question of an inner monologue, as with Schubert.”

A further concert with Ties Mellema and Het Klassiek Collectief under the direction of Arjan Tien will take place on the following day, 31 January 2016, in Den Haag (Kloosterkerk, 3 PM).

30 January 2016
NedPho-Koepel, 8:30 PM
Dutch premiere: Edison Denisov
Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra
Ties Mellema (alto saxophone)
Het Klassiek Collectief
Arjan Tien (direction)


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