Four Saxophones of the Apocalypse

Saxophone Quartet ● Fall 2006 ● 8:00

Four Saxophones of the Apocalypse


7-9 minutes Alto Saxophone Baritone Saxophone Chamber Music Intermediate Quartet Soprano Saxophone Tenor Saxophone 


I wrote The Four Saxophones of the Apocalypse in college mostly as a joke, and this piece just won't go away. Pestilence begins surprisingly tonal, almost whimsical, before easing into a state of dissonance which becomes more atonal throughout the movement, much like a plague. Many of the ideas for later movements show up first in this movement, which serves as a revelation of what is to come. The second movement, War, begins with a theme presented in the baritone saxophone before falling into a rhythmic pattern of impending doom. The theme is presented again, and is subsequently passed through all four voices. Famine is fugal in nature, however instead of using consonant intervals of thirds, fifths, sixths, and octaves, I opted to break those rules and use the less-pleasant intervals of seconds, tritones, and sevenths. Death starts out, and for the most part stays, in 12-tone. After several minutes of dissonance, each of the four saxophones start playing a theme from an earlier movement, which eventually ends in quiet solitude.



To Amanda Martin: I consider this entirely your fault!


NoteForge (ASCAP)

Kyle Vanderburg