Two Dances…of sorts

Two Dances…of sorts for saxophone and percussion
Publisher: Gottry Publications (2020)
Composed: 2017
Duration: 6’15”
Difficulty: Medium-Difficult

Two Dances…of sorts was written on commission for Jason Laczkoski and Nicholaus Meyers. The idea behind the composition was to create a work based on two historical dance styles, loosely incorporating those styles’ formal structures, but with a contemporary twist on rhythmic and metric elements. The duet opens as a minuet strictly set in 3/4 time, as would be expected. A and B sections are presented, then are repeated in a more highly ornamented manner that occasionally strays into 7/8 time. The C and D sections follow, a pseudo-trio that wanders even further metrically before a da capo reprise of A and B. An interlude connects the two dances as the percussionist changes implements and the saxophonist switches from alto to soprano horn. The second dance, a gigue, opens predictably in 6/8 time as both the sax and percussion present the four-measure primary theme once individually and twice in cooperation, with one superfluous eighth note in the final measure of each joint statement. The second theme, much less firmly in 6/8, is presented once, then again in a slightly abbreviated fashion before a return to the first theme of this dance. Again, the gigue’s second theme returns, this time with an additional bar that links directly to the coda, a piu mosso reprise of the minuet’s B section, along with a few brief quotes from the interlude. This work is a fun and playful showpiece capitalizing on each instrument’s individual strengths and the full potential of the paired orchestration!

Hocket is used throughout the work to emphasize the interplay between the two performers … Composer Josh Gottry uses the limited percussion instrumentation effectively, instructing the percussionist to switch between playing with hard felt mallets, fingers, and brushes. – Jamie Wind Whitmarsh
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.