Please reload

Ingolf Dahl: "Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra"

June 22, 2010

Ingolf Dahl's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra is certainly one of the more famous concertos written for wind band. This piece is part of a pair of very significant pieces that Dahl contributed to the wind repertoire--the second being his Sinfonietta.

 

Program below notes from the University of Virginia.

 

Ingolf Dahl was born in Hamburg, Germany. As a young man, he studied at the Koln Hochschule fur Musik as well as the Zurich Conservatory. In 1945, six years after immigrating to the United States, Dahl became part of the faculty at the University of Southern California. His responsibilities there included conducting the University Orchestra, lecturing on film and commercial music, and teaching theory, composition, orchestration, conducting, music history and literature. The breadth of his musical skills was wide. By the time of his death in 1970, he had been acclaimed as a composer, conductor, piano soloist and accompanist, historian, writer and arranger, and editor. Dahl was not a prolific composer, but several of his works have become classics of American modern music.

 

The Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra is certainly one of Dahl’s most celebrated works, but the story of its creation is quite unique. It was first conceived by Dahl in 1948 after receiving a letter from virtuoso saxophonist Sigurd Rascher expressing interest in a large scale work for saxophone. It was finished and premiered in May of 1949 by Rascher and the University of Illinois Concert Band. Henry Cowell told Dahl that it was “one of the most important and well-written band pieces he had ever seen.” The piece was so moving that it brought tears to the eyes of Igor Stravinsky, one of Dahl’s closest contemporaries. It soon dawned on Dahl, however, that Rascher was the only saxophonist in the world able to play the concerto due to its utilization of the very high “altissimo” register in many passages. This led to the concerto’s first revision in 1954, in which the third movement was substantially rewritten to give the soloist an alternative to the altissimo passages. A third revision was made in 1959, which included the removal of several sections, shortening the piece to about three quarters its original length. As for the differences between the original and published versions, saxophone historian Paul Cohen writes: “When listening to the revised version of the concerto in comparison to the original, it is clear that Dahl was operating from a different compositional perspective. Neither better or worse, but certainly different.”

 

 

Chris Rettie's Dissertation entitled "A Perfomer's and Conductor's Analysis of Ingolf Dahl's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra"

 

Ingolf Dahl, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra, 1. Recitative

University of Iowa Symphony Band, Richard Mark Heidel, conductor, Kennith Tse, alto saxophone

 

Ingolf Dahl, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra, 2. Passacaglia

University of Iowa Symphony Band, Richard Mark Heidel, conductor, Kennith Tse, alto saxophone

 

Ingolf Dahl, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra, 3. Rondo alla marcia

University of Iowa Symphony Band, Richard Mark Heidel, conductor, Kennith Tse, alto saxophone

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

recent posts:
search by tags:

September 10, 2018

Please reload

featured posts: