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Fantasia on the Theme of Plum Blossoms for alto saxophone and piano (2012), ca. 15’

梅花操的迴響

I. Fantasia

暗香疏影


II. Ten Thousand Blooms

萬花競放


III. Plum Blossoms

釀雪爭春


The musical material of this piece is loosely derived from a popular Nankuan melody, Plum Blossoms. Nankuan, a traditional style of southern Chinese/Taiwanese music, dates back to Han Dynasty. This melody serves as a basis for all three movements. In the fantasia like first movement, the Nankuan melody is first subtly introduced in a fragmented and motivic way. By the end of movement, a longer continuous melody appears. The second scherzo-like movement takes the faster and active passages from the first movement as a basis for playful and energetic music. The rich and elegant Nankuan melody is most apparent in the lyrical, contrapuntal final movement.


Fantasia on the Theme of Plum Blossom for alto Saxophone and piano was commissioned by the World-Wide Concurrent Premieres & Commissions Fund and is dedicated to Ken Radnofsky. It originally existed in the first movement form, the last two movements were added later. The world premieres of the three-movement work took place in October 2012.

Score available from Radnofsky Couper Editions