Walking on the Falling Leaves and Snow

Walking on the Falling Leaves and Snow (2011)
for Alto Saxophone and Piano

I. Autumn Snow
II. Autumn Leaves

Commissioned by Chih-Huan Wu

World Premiere:
December 15, 2016
2016 Asian Saxophone Congress
Concert Hall, National Chiayi Univeristy, Chiayi, Taiwan
(One of selected pieces in the semi-final round, the senior division of ASC International Competition 2016)
Competition participants
2016 Asian Saxophone Congress
US Premiere:
April 28, 2017
Arthur Ting-Hua Liang Performer Diploma Recital
Sweeney Hall, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Arthur Ting-Hua Liang, alto saxophone; Theresa Leung, piano

Duration: 12 minutes

Program Notes

Walking on the Falling Leaves and Snow for alto saxophone and piano is commissioned by saxophonist Chih-Huan Wu and inspired by the rare snowstorm that stroke the northeast coast of the United States in October 29, 2011. The disaster resulted in causing more than three million people to live in the dark and freezing temperature without power and hot water, and almost one million people had suffered from power outage for more than one week. Many trees broke under the heavy weight of snow borne by the remaining red leaves. Snapped branches and fallen frozen red leaves rendered this autumn very sentimental.

Walking on the Falling Leaves and Snow is a piece with two contrasting movements (e.g. fast and slow). The first movement of this piece is titled as “Autumn Snow.” The major second interval, symbolizing snow, begins with an extreme high range of piano and soon changes the gesture from the high to the low. The change of register indicates that the briskly falling light snow turns into mud and something aggressive on the earth. Saxophone here serves as a witness to the unbelievable scene. Meanwhile, as if to emphasize the confusion and disorientation of the witness, notes jump from one to another, and a melody is hardly produced. The second movement titled as “Autumn Leaves” is a lament. Sorrow implodes within the whole movement, for autumn leaves with their richness are suddenly reaped by the unpredictable snow. As their beauty goes wasted and unappreciated, what has been left is the utter brutality of the snow. The chromatic downward harmonic progressions indicate the bleakness and devastation caused by the rare snowstorm, and the sentimental melody of saxophone is the mourning for the loss of the autumn’s harvest and beauty.



– Feng-Hsu Lee (November 26, 2011 West Hartford, CT)

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