To be precise, an album of four compositions by Kenneth Fuchs, including Rush
, his concerto for alto saxophone, has won a Grammy Award. Technically, the award was bestowed on the conductor, JoAnn Falleta, and the record producer, rather than on the composer or any of the other performers. Tim McAllister is the alto soloist. But in my book, this still equals, "Sax concerto wins Grammy!"
By the way, this was a 2019 Grammy, not one of the just-last-week 2020 Grammys. Shows you how fast news travels in SOTW.
Since I think this is the first mention of the Fuchs concerto in this forum (a little sad), here's a background video with interviews and a taste of the music:
You also can listen to the entire concerto on YouTube; it's only two movements. Like many saxophone concertos (but not those by Adams or G. Prokofiev), Rush
seems too short to me. The pretty opening movement is a great middle movement. Starting with something lively would have resulted in a more comprehensive work, IMO.
is very appealing and enjoyable, but I wouldn't call it a masterpiece or breakthrough. Its musical depiction of soaring Americana reminds me of The Upward Stream
by Russell Peck, but not quite as focused or powerful. Interestingly, I believe Rush
was conceived of as a concerto for sax and concert band; at least, that's what the commissioning history (by band musicians) seems to indicate. But Fuchs, apparently realizing he had something strong on his hands, also created the orchestral version that now, after the Grammy, probably will be considered the "real" concerto by casual listeners, with the original being relegated to the role of "band version." That's how it goes.