Sonata for alto saxophone and piano (2002)
duration: 21’
GRT • 086

recording available
Barry Cockcroft (alto saxophone), Adam Pinto (piano)

Reed Music

youtube (1st movement)

score available from
Reed Music

program note
This Sonata was composed in fulfillment of the 2001 Albert H Maggs Composition Award. It was written specifically for Barry Cockcroft and Adam Pinto to premiere at a concert featuring my saxophone music of the last decade (Greenbaum: Retrospective).

"This CD, devoted entirely to the music of Stuart Greenbaum is a treat for lovers of Australian classical music. There are two sonatas, for saxophone and for violin, solo pieces for violin, saxophone, and piano and two sets of songs. The effect is direct, warm and affectionate all at once. Cockcroft’s sound blends delicately with the piano in the Sonata, bringing out the popular music influences that lie throughout Greenbaum’s CD. The three contrasting movements demonstrate great virtuosity on the part of Cockcroft and his collaborator, Adam Pinto. It is a performance that will be of interest to any saxophonists wanting to perform this difficult but rewarding piece.

The opening movement is based around a constantly changing meter alternating groups of two and three quavers, developing into a very strong set of memorable themes, ending with an altissimo version of the theme that is ethereal and haunting. The second movement is dogged in its slow forward movement. The simple theme becoming gradually more ornate as the movement unfolds. The climax unfolds in a cascade of scales that brings the piece to its emotional high point. The third movement, marked
Mercurial, the title of the CD, is made of additive rhythms, as in the first movement, but faster. The judicious use of altissimo to bring the piece to an exciting finale is well negotiated by Cockcroft, who is surely one of Australia’s finest exponents of classical saxophone playing. I highly recommend this CD.”
James Nightingale, Australian Clarinet & Saxophone Vol 8-4, December 2005