Medium: Concert Band/ Wind Ensemble

Con-Tse-To – a Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Concert Band was composed in 2013 at the request of Kenneth Tse. It is in three movements – 1. Pasodoble Melanie, 2. Lamento and 3. Danza Jubiloso. First performance was July 14, 2013 for the Hong Kong International Saxophone Symposium at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Hong Kong Chamber Wind Philharmonic; Victor Tam, Conductor; Kenneth Tse, Saxophone Soloist. The first movement – Pasodoble Melanie, is in the traditional form of the march in Spain known as the Pasodoble. It has a beginning theme in traditional march style using Spanish flavor harmonies and melodies. As the Spanish pasodoble is in the same form as American marches, the second theme is the “Trio” section. In the Spanish pasodoble, it is customary to have the first presentation of this second theme played extremely softly in the clarinets. It is also common during the repeat of the Trio to have a soloist such as a piccolo displaying an obligato of great virtuosic melodies in counterpoint to the clarinets. I felt this would be a very appropriate place for an alto saxophone obligato. In this pasodoble the third presentation of the Trio is shortened to allow for the first cadenza. Since I met Kenneth Tse for the first time in Buñol (Valencia), Spain, I thought it would be very appropriate to use this traditional form for the first movement for his concerto. It is a Spanish custom for a composer to give a pasodoble composition as a gift such as to a musician or politician and the title of the piece often references the name of recipient’s wife. Kenneth Tse’s wife’s name is Melanie so this movement is dedicated to her. The second movement – Lamento was adapted from a melody of mine “El año del Trumpetista” originally composed in 2010. I thought the beautiful sound of Dr. Tse’s saxophone playing would be very complimentary for this melody. The third movement – Danza Jubiloso is in allegro tempo with the first theme based on leaps of a fourth and an octave in duple meter. The second theme is mostly in 7/8 meter. There is also a bit of a jazz element of harmonies and the added instruments of a drum set and jazz double bass in pizzicato. Con-Tse-To was awarded Finalist category in the Band Composition Competition of the American Prize in 2017. One of only two Concertos with Band awarded that year. The full band instrumentation is available on Musica Nova USA. Instrumentation is: Piccolo, 2 Flutes 2 Oboes, Bassoon, Eb Clarinet, 3 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, 3 Trumpets, 4 Horns, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Solo Alto Saxophone, Timpani, Percussion (4 players – snare drum, bass drum, triangle, suspended cymbal, crash cymbals, wood block, tam tam, drum set, castinets, tenor drums (4), claves, bongos (2), orchestra bells, vibraphone, xylophone)


14-Jul-13 by Kenneth Tse

Commissioned by

Kenneth Tse


the American Prize 2017 Band Music Composition Finalist