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Fuchs saxophone concerto, "Rush," wins Grammy

1203 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  lydian
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.

Rush 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.
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He has amazing control of the alto. really a pleasure to listen to if for nothing else how someone can play so many nuances. I used to do classical alto and I liked it in college. but its not my thing now. That being said I really appreciate his time, tone, phasing, building a longer phrase. K
With the Fuchs piece, the Adams Concerto, and Adams' City Noir, Tim McAllister seems to have become the go-to guy for high-profile classical sax premieres.
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