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The next solo, Solitude, is performed by Elizabeth Wolynec on piano. The opening melody is a study in fourths, centered around G minor. As the music develops, appoggiaturas, broken chords, and triplets lighten the severity of the key. The music is contemplative, as the title suggests, but with passionate outbursts: being in 'solitude' has its own rewards and excitements. While the piece ends quietly, in G minor, I felt only a trace of sadness, the F sharps in prior measures adding modal mixing (G major). The conclusion resolves with an ascent in two against three rhythms, and a descent of arpeggios, like a water fountain's finale [listen -- track 3, 4:14-5:21].

The Grand Sonata for Alto Saxophone & Piano (Movements I and II) was performed by Brian Horner and Elizabeth Wolynec with delicate precision, sensitivity, and strength. The Adagio movement consists of some of the most tender music, with a slow yearning melody on saxophone, and haunting, ascending and descending chords by the piano. The melody sometimes lifts up as if reaching for the lights of the concert hall that glint off the brass, eventually resolving back downward, gently [listen -- track 4, 8:03-9:19]. The Scherzo movement contrasts with a lively jostling announcement that soon settles into a lovely lyricism. The introductory announcement occasionally returns to remind me that this is a scherzo, and the lyrical quality blends with a playful motion resulting in a joyous declaration of spontaneity.

Brian Horner has performed in live concerts, artist recordings and radio broadcasts. He is a faculty member at Austin Peay State University. Elizabeth Wolynec is pianist for the Nashville Symphony Chorus and teaches at Austin Peay State University.

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Copyright © 6 September 2006 Anna L Franco, New York City, USA


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