Simpson: The Golden Prophecy for Alto Saxophone and Piano
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Simpson: The Golden Prophecy for Alto Saxophone and Piano

Code: JP4066
Grade: 9
Publisher: Jeanne Inc.
ISMN: 979-0-3019-0259-2

PRICE: $23.25

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Product Description

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The Golden Prophecy tells the story of a soldier who enlists after a mystical experience: a prophecy of wealth and happiness after great struggle. The story, set in a theater of war, is told in three episodes. In the first, the soldier inflicts violence on an enemy; in the second, he is pursued by a host of enemies bent on revenge. Finally, gravely wounded in pursuit, he has a second vision which reveals the prophecy to be peaceful rather than militant. Contrition redeems the soldier in the final moments of the story.

In keeping with the story’s angular drama, The Golden Prophecy explores the extremes of technical versatility for the saxophone, demanding of it intensely expressive vocal sounds and comfort in the highest altissimo register. In three large parts played without pause, the piece formally resembles a traditional sonata or concerto. Premiered in 2009 by saxophonist Noah Getz, who commissioned the work, the piece was recorded later that year for Albany Records (“Still Life,” TROY 1276: Noah Getz, saxophone, Andrew Earle Simpson, piano). A version for alto saxophone and wind ensemble is in preparation.

Following an explosive opening which immediately subsides into restless quiet, the saxophone enters with wailing, voice-like figures. These figures continue as the piano begins to build momentum and energy. Gradually, saxophone and piano increase pace and develop a powerful rhythmic pattern culminating in a large climax. A quieter transitional passage leads suddenly into the second section, another steadily-driving, rhythmic movement, which has the feel of a desperate chase. The saxophone wends a virtuosic path over the piano’s rapid figurations and bomb-like explosions. The chase builds to a second, larger climax: the saxophone plays, as if in total shock, in its most extreme high register.

The final section is utterly calm, melancholy, lyrical, and it is here that the true nature of the “golden prophecy” is revealed. A short, fast coda provides a last energetic burst, violently piercing the serenity of the previous scene.

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Audio sample from Simpson: The Golden Prophecy
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Click here for bio information on Andrew Earle Simpson