Binge, Ronald -Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra
Commissioned by the BBC for the 1956 International Festival Of Light Music, Ronald Binge's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra shows off the power and lyricism of the modern saxophone and how well it fits within an orchestral setting.
Cast in three movements (the standard fast, slow, fast format), the work shows both the lyrical and the playful sides of the saxophone. The first movement is a dialogue between orchestra and soloist, each one taking turns to play the leader. The second movement (Romance) is often taken out of context and played as a stand-alone work that gives the soloist the opportunity to show his/her skill as a 'singer', particularly in the instrument's upper register. The third movement (Rondo) is in 6/8 and has a lively swing feel to it. This movement shows the instrument in its most jazz-like nature, more like the sort of music one immediately associates the saxophone with.
Because of the work's effective writing for the solo instrument, it has become a standard repertoire piece in exam syllabi. This title comes with a piano reduction by the composer himself.