Two Dances...of sorts for saxophone and percussion
Two Dances...of sorts was written on commission for Jason Laczkoski and Nicholaus Meyers. The idea behind the composition was to create a work based on two historical dance styles, loosely incorporating those styles' formal structures, but with a contemporary twist on rhythmic and metric elements. The duet opens as a minuet strictly set in 3/4 time, as would be expected. A and B sections are presented, then are repeated in a more highly ornamented manner that occasionally strays into 7/8 time. The C and D sections follow, a pseudo-trio that wanders even further metrically before a da capo reprise of A and B. An interlude connects the two dances as the percussionist changes implements and the saxophonist switches from alto to soprano horn. The second dance, a gigue, opens predictably in 6/8 time as both the sax and percussion present the four-measure primary theme once individually and twice in cooperation, with one superfluous eighth note in the final measure of each joint statement. The second theme, much less firmly in 6/8, is presented once, then again in a slightly abbreviated fashion before a return to the first theme of this dance. Again, the gigue's second theme returns, this time with an additional bar that links directly to the coda, a piu mosso reprise of the minuet's B section, along with a few brief quotes from the interlude. This work is a fun and playful showpiece capitalizing on each instrument's individual strengths and the full potential of the paired orchestration!