- Instrumentation: saxophone quartet
- Year of composition: 2017
- Duration: 11 minutes
As the title indicates, Diptych is in two movements. The first is broad and expressive. The main thematic material seeks to rise. Yet the music is persistently drawn into the low register by a recurring descending gesture. When a rising sequence manages to gain the upper-hand, it leads to a climax high in the quartet’s range. Here ascent and descent are united in a series of rapid swooping arpeggios. At the movement’s end, the persistent descending figure is inverted, floating upwards to settle softly on a hopeful sonority.
The second movement is lively and effervescent, given motion by a bubbly accomanimental figure. Early in the movement, the soprano saxophone presents a fragmentary melody. As the movement progresses, cells from this melody are increasingly shared among the ensemble. The level of complexity and excitement builds to a peak, and the ensemble launches into a unison declamation. A final flurry brings Diptych to an emphatic close.
The premiere peformance of Diptych was given by Barega Saxophone Quartet at the Fireworks Gallery in Brisbane on June 17, 2018. The international premiere was given the following month at the World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. Read more!