•  Premiered by Berlin Saxophone Quartet at Weill Hall, New York April 28, 1993.  SATB saxophones EB Marks/Presser: MarksPrint 494-020540 Full Set

The Rhapsody for Sax Quartet is centered on a rhythmicized central reference sonority consiting of the dissonant ‘Lydian’ tetrachord C#, F#, B# and its repeated motion to A#. The execution of this figure, with an appropriate dynamic contrast emphasizing the appoggiatura-like gesture, puts into the hands (or, more accurately, embouchures) of the players much of the three-dimensionality on which the work’s essence depends. The thrust of the work and its relation of singable melody in a dynamic, dissonant relationship to its underlying idée fixe exemplifies a central conceit of the early to mid-nineties in Ellison’s music—to create a music which employs a high dose of dissonance which is nevertheless suffused with an exuberance, even joy, at its core. This vigorous, insistent, dissonant Rhapsody is perhaps the closest Michael Ellison’s music has approached minimalism.

Premiered by Berlin Saxophone Quartet, Weill Hall, New York

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