Third in a set of "atmospheric pictures" for varied combinations of solo woodwind and keyboard. The title of this sardonic scherzo for tenor saxophone and harpsichord translates to "The Crumbling Gargoyle." Throughout this miniature, the tenor saxophone dominates with a frenetic, quasi-syncopated melody with characteristic falling major thirds. This melody is not merely static but develops through fragmentation and inversion, transformed in essence by the time of its final (partial) appearance. Full of piquant extended (though ultimately triadically-grounded) harmonies (often touching on the Lydian #2 and Whole-Tone scales), the harpsichord's part ranges across nearly the entire tessitura of the keyboard and features dramatic "rhetorical" gestures alongside more sinewy contrapuntal passages. Not relegated to merely an accompaniment role, the harpsichord introduces secondary melodic material later taken up by the saxophone, as well as developing the main melody in its own right. The painting in the video is "Dragon Awakens" by Theodor Severin Kittelsen. You'll find the full engraved score by following this link.
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