A Soprano Saxophone Sonata?!

June 25, 2022

If you're looking for a contemporary piece to listen to (or perform!), I recommend you check out Steve Cohen's Soprano Saxophone Sonata, written in 2002. I've been looking for some rep that I want to work on soon and this was one of the pieces I immediately thought of.

The first movement is searching, contemplative, and even regretful at times. There are moments where the sax line is completely alone that really make you listen closely (if done well, of course). The second movement is meditative and bluesy (without ever sounding cheesy). The finale is my personal favorite, perhaps for its humor and wit. I tend to enjoy pieces like this that are melodically or rhythmically driven.

I especially appreciate his ability to treat both instruments equally which makes the piece an incredible amount of fun to perform. The way in which Steve is able to expose both instruments' range effectively creates an excellent concert closer on any program.

The piece was dedicated to one of my favorite MSM precollege professors and chamber coaches: Dr. James Noyes. Of course, working on this piece with someone who displays such a love and respect for classical music makes the entire process incredibly enjoyable.

If you're curious about Steve's music and want to check out more of his music, you should visit his website at: www.stevecohenmusic.net.

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