Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano

Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano2019-11-05T01:31:14+00:00

Project Description

Solo Alto Saxophone and Piano
32 min.

Buy Score and Parts


Listen Now

Masato Kumoi, alto saxophone, Aki Fuji, piano
On the album Simple Songs

Steven Jordheim, alto saxophone, Christine Dahl, piano
On the album The Music of David Maslanka (2000)

See Available Commercial Recordings

Preview Score


  1. Moderato
  2. Very Expressive
  3. Very Fast

Commissioned by

The Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano was commissioned by the North American Saxophone Alliance.


Strongly influenced by music of the past – Franz Liszt, Francis Poulenc, Allan Pettersson – the Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano alternates between an innocent stroll in the park, and a fierce breaking of tonal and formal boundaries. The three movements are personal adaptations of old forms – the first a sonata, the second an ABA song form, and the third a rondo. Each movement has a turbulent, eruptive quality that takes this music away from its historical models and makes it very much a music of our time. The Sonata has become a standard piece in the saxophone repertoire.

Program Note

The Sonata was commissioned by the North American Saxophone alliance for its 1989 convention. It is in three large movements. The first is lyrical and reflective, with sudden energetic bursts. The song-like and soulful second movement is a broad soliloquy with its roots in the expressive madrigal style of the sixteenth century. The third is a large rondo that is at times fierce, mournful, playful, and turbulent, and at the end, ethereal.

Program note by David Maslanka


Further Reading

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 71, Slow Movements

29 October 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions (of which there are literally dozens to choose from) that highlight some of his most beautiful writing in slower tempi: "Movement I" from Recitation Book, "Slow" from Symphony No. 7, and "Slow" from Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano.

Interview with Russell Peterson

2 April 1998|2 Comments

Russell Peterson, professor of saxophone at Lawrence University in Appleton WI, interviewed David Maslanka on 30 November 1998 after premieres of Mountain Roads for saxophone quartet, commissioned and performed by the Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet and [...]