Unquiet Spirits (sax quartet)
Chamber Music, Sax/14'/Difficulty - Really hard/2012
Full Set (9x12 paper)
PDF Full Set (digital)
Listen to Unquiet Spirits, first movement
performed by the Zzyzx QuartetView the score
Commissioned by the Zzyzx Quartet in 2012, Unquiet Spirits is the first original, multi-movement work for saxophone quartet by American composer John Mackey. It premiered at the 36th annual Navy Band Saxophone Symposium in 2013. The piece's title reflects the unsettled and unsettling moods evoked in the three movements. The restless first movement propels the ensemble to a climactic bout of raucous rhythmic gestures. The second movement is an off-kilter dance, featuring acrobatic counterpoint throughout the ensemble and an eerie, waltz-like middle theme. Finally, the third movement is a fiendish moto perpetuo, described by the composer as a "barn burner." The ensemble trades incessant sixteenth-note runs and jarring syncopated rhythms in a swirl of mixed meters. The tenor saxophone tries to lure the group into a sinewy melody, but is soon swamped by the ensemble's relentless motion.
The ZZYZX Saxophone Quartet