Prokofiev, (G.): Saxophone Concerto / Bass Drum Concerto

Prokofiev, (G.): Saxophone Concerto / Bass Drum Concerto cover
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Prokofiev, (G.): Saxophone Concerto / Bass Drum Concerto
Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Joby Burgess (timpani) Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, Alexey Bogorad

[ Signum / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 18 October 2019

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In his new Saxophone Concerto, Gabriel Prokofiev explores a side of classical music usually seen as forbidden by modern contemporary composers: melody. This aspect was incorporated at the request of the soloist, Branford Marsalis, allowing Prokofiev to revisit characteristics of the classical tradition not usually heard in contemporary music, giving the saxophone an open canvas.

Prokofiev's Bass Drum Concerto shows the versatility of the instrument, despite only being used in a very basic fashion in classical music as a whole. Prokofiev experiments with how the bass drum is struck, where it is struck, and what it is struck with throughout the piece, producing a variety of sounds, colours and textures.

"If the Saxophone Concerto is something of a curate's egg, the Bass Drum Concerto, premiered in 2012, is for me one of the best concertos written this century. The bass drum's diverse and versatile." - Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2019


1. Saxophone Concerto: I. Andante Deciso - Molto Pesante
2. Saxophone Concerto: II. Scherzo - Con moto
3. Saxophone Concerto: III. Largo mesto
4. Saxophone Concerto: IV. Allegro Mechanico
5. Bass Drum Concerto: I. Lento Scuro (Bass War)
6. Bass Drum Concerto: II. Largo Mesto (In the Steppes)
7. Bass Drum Concerto: III. Allegro Moderato Leggiero (Four to the Floor)
8. Bass Drum Concerto: IV. Allegro Brilliante (May Speed)

Saxophone Concerto: III. Large mesto