On Song

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Length / year

9' - 2010


Saxophone Quartet

Programme note

ON SONG (2010) – John Metcalf

"Metcalf's On Song features gently interleaving lines of soprano, alto and tenor saxes over resonant baritone" – The Independent, London UK

On Song was commissioned by the Lunar Saxophone Quartet with funding from Live Music Now/Wales and first performed by them at a concert at the Riverfront Theatre Newport on 29th October 2010 at a concert celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the work of Live Music Now in Wales.

On Song is in a single movement , marked Cantabile, and as the title suggests is predominantly lyrical in character with references to different types of songs and singing. The work is also characterised by the use of complex polyrhythms often over a walking bass. The tempo is constant throughout most of the work until, at the close, a slightly faster section moves the piece on to a lively and passionate conclusion.

Lunar Saxophone have recorded ON SONG for Signum Records on the CD - These Visions - SIGCD233.

Note by the composer