Attention : Alto Solo!

Composed in


Alto Saxophone Solo


First performance
September 15, 1994 in Dunkerque (F) by Dominique SPRIET. Other performance in Brussels (B) (Apr 96).

Dedicated to
Pierre Delamarre

Lantro Music

Commercial recordings
Megadisc MDC 7828/29 (2cd)

Luc on “Attention : Alto Solo !” :

“Attention : Alto Solo !” was composed in july 1994, at the request of Pierre Delamarre with whom I had collaborated intensively in Saint-Nazaire (F) during my residence there for the composition of my “Kientzyphonie (Symphony n°4)”. The score is dedicated to him. The first performance, however, was given in Dunkerque (F) on September 15 of the same year by Dominique Spriet, but Pierre Delamarre performed the work later on the occasion of the CD-recording (Megadisc MDC 7828/29).

The title refers to an inside-joke for musicians. It is the intention that one thinks the piece will be a viola solo, and regarding the reputation of viola-players in the ‘country of the jokes’ it is a little dangerous, hence the warning. However, the piece is not (intended to be) funny, but is a kind of study on melody, timbre and above all on spectral (i.e. based on the natural overtones) harmony. It implies the use of quarter tones in the melodic lines, in which I actually use the spectrum as a modus (or scale). One also regularly hears quite rapid timbral differences on one same note, obtained by special fingerings. The most striking will probably be the frequent use of so-called multiphonics, being chords which are (or better: were) not common on a “principally” monophonic instrument. Those multiphonics are very effect-full, but I never use them for the effect only, I choose them very carefully in function of the harmonic necessity of the music.

The piece is mainly slow and introvert, with somewhat more “nervous” melodic lines towards the end of the work. It was my intention to expose my musical ideas (of that time) as concisely and clearly as possible within the restriction of a solo instrument. The instrument defines (partly) the composition, but the opposite is equally true, as I constantly explore the limits of the instrument and its performer.

Luc Brewaeys