Concerto in Eb Major – Alexander Glazunov (Otis Murphy, 2012)

Otis Murphy – Alto Saxophone

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Conducted by Garry Walker

Otis Murphy (USA) joined the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music at the age of 27, becoming one of the youngest faculty members in its history, and where he is currently Associate Professor of Music. He is in great demand as an international soloist and clinician, having gained wide recognition on four continents: North America (United States and Canada), Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), Asia (Japan, Singapore and Taiwan), and Australia.

Dr Murphy holds Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, graduating with the Performer’s Certificate, the highest honor given to a performer at this institution; and the Bachelor of Music Education degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Georgia. In addition, he pursued advanced studies in France under a Fulbright Fellowship for foreign study at the Conservatoire National Régional de Musique in Cergy-Pontoise, earning the Prix de Perfectionnement by a unanimous decision of the jury. His saxophone teachers include Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Eugene Rousseau, and Kenneth Fischer.

Concerto in Eb Major – Alexander Glazunov
Alexander Glazunov was born in St. Petersburg on August 10, 1865. His father was a successful publisher and violinist and his mother an amateur pianist. Alexander studied composition under the direction of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. During his career, Glazunov became one of the major Russian composers of the nineteenth century. In 1882 at age 16, he composed the first of his nine symphonies. In 1899, Glazunov became a professor at the St. Petersburg School of Music and later its director in 1905. In 1928, Glazunov left Russia for eternity, touring Europe and the United States and finally settling in Paris. In 1934, he composed a major work titled Concerto in Eb for Alto Saxophone, for classical saxophonist Sigurd Rascher. The first performance of this piece took place in Sweden with Rascher as the solo saxophonist. The Concerto is a single movement work with many tempo changes. Its layout is that of a rhapsody with elements of folk music. In this twentieth century work, Glazunov strictly avoided contemporary atonal forms such as serialism, minimalism, and other Non-Western idioms. Instead Glazunov used harmonies and ornamentations that are adapted to Western Classical Romantic Music and modulated to closely related keys and remote keys, creating new tonal centers. Chromaticism, dynamics, variations of articulations, and variations in tempo take place throughout this composition. The Concerto in Eb was Glazunov’s last major work before he passed away on March 21, 1936 in Paris.

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