MEDITATION for alto saxophone ( from Thais by Massenet )

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Meditation by Massenet

The piece comes from Massenet’s masterpiece, the opera «Thais» base on Anatole France’s novel of the same title. The opera was first played at the Paris Opera Theater in 1894. The story is set in the early first century, on the River Nile. A priest approaches Thais, a dancer of the night world of Alexandria, with the goal of talking her into repentance and leading her to a life of faith. Ironically, however, his own faith is replaced by love for Thais, just as she is becoming inclined to accept religion.

«Meditation» is played by a solo violin with harp accompaniment between the first and second acts. It portrays the change in Thais’ heart, from wanting to seduce the priest, at the end of the second scene of the first act, to want to begin a religious life. It is effectively played at the opening of the second act when Thais visits the priest to tell him of her decision. The piece is often played independently as a violin solo, and in this case, as a saxophone solo with piano and 2 violins accompaniment.

Piano: Prajna Indrawati
Violin: Claudia Gallardo
Video: Julio Hurtado Grisales

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