For English Horn and Alto Saxophone
By Bernard Heiden.
The Duo for English horn and Alto Saxophone dates from 1938 during Heiden' s years in Detroit. The holograph does not bear any dedication, but it safe to assume that he wrote the two-movement work for faculty colleagues or students at the Art Center Music School. The score and parts are written at the pitch of the respective instruments, i.e., the two parts sound a whole tone part from each other. With this pitch relationship in mind, Heiden has indicated on the score that this work may also be performed by oboe and B-flat clarinet, two instruments which are also one whole tone apart.
The Duo for English horn and Alto Saxophone is a skillfully-crafted piece that clearly shows the influence of Heiden' s teacher, Paul Hindemith. This influence is evident in the well thought-out counterpoint and the fact that Heiden would compose a work for such an unusual combination of instruments. Hindemith was a proponent of Gebrauchsmusik, or Music for Use, works meant to be used by amateur players for their own enjoyment.
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