A mishap in new music

Last night I performed the Albright Saxophone Sonata for the first time. The end of the work involves gradually muting the strings with your left hand while the right hand continues to play, and then a dramatic flourish down to an open handed cluster at the bottom of the piano. Apparently there was originally an alternate ending involving slamming the fallboard shut [1. It’s not good for the piano at all, so don’t do it. Even if the piano survives, you will likely suffer a gruesome death by hand of the piano technician.]. Well, I think I may have one-upped the ending, short only having Bobby (I mean Dr. Young) kick down his stand.

As I began the repeated motif on the final page, I went to push back the music desk (stand) with my free hand and found it stuck. I kept pushing, but nothing happened. So what other choice did I have but to stand up and reach over the music desk to mute the strings? I was unhappy about this, as it was going to make the very end an acrobatic feat, but I went for it. And, of course, in the process managed to knock the music down to be retrieved by my hapless but good-natured page turner [2. Actually, I think he may have caught it.]. Audience members tell me it was effective and rather in character with the “mad dance”, so I’ll just blog about it so I can laugh about it later, once I’m done being mad.

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