Revolutions for French Horn and Baritone Saxophone (2004)

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Duration: five minutes

Instrumentation: F horn and baritone saxophone

Program Notes:

Revolutions is a piece that is based on two events in history, during which individuals challenged the scientific status quo. The first movement represents the idea conceived by Christopher Columbus that the Earth was a spherical shape, instead of the socially accepted flat plane. Although challenged by some, Columbus was also supported by the Spanish King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella, who financed his voyage to India, which he would use to prove his theory. This movement contains elements of disagreement between the two voices, but is mainly reflective of the positive interplay between the established idea and the new idea.

The second movement represents the idea of Nicolaus Copernicus, in which he claims that the Earth is not the center of the universe, as originally thought by Aristotle. This idea was strongly criticized by the Catholic Church in Rome, bringing a lifetime of hardship to Copernicus and his supporters. The Baritone Saxophone represents the authority of the church, with its repeating, cyclic motive, with a tonal center of E, suggesting the idea of an Earth-centric universe. The French Horn plays the part of Copernicus and his idea, challenging the strongly founded theory of Aristotle. The harsh disagreement between the two instruments demonstrates the conflict between Copernicus and the Cardinals in Rome. This clash is eventually resolved towards the end of the piece, indicating the eventual acceptance of his theory by the Church, centuries later.