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Concerto Comenia

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Maarten De Splenter

Maarten De Splenter (transcribed by composer)

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Subtitle: For Alto Saxophone and Symphonic Wind Band

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 22:00
Difficulty: VII (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Saxophone and orchestra
Publisher: Unpublished. Contact composer
Cost: Score and Parts - €300.00


Four, through-composed.


Full Score
Solo E-flat Alto Saxophone
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bar Chimes
  • Bass Drum
  • Congas (2)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Whip
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

During my saxophone studies at the conservatory of Ghent (Belgium) I composed a concerto for alto saxophone and symphonic orchestra. As a bachelor student I got the unique opportunity to perform my own concerto as a soloist together with the Symphonic Orchestra of the Ghent Conservatory directed by maestro Dirk Brossé (he was also my composition teacher at that time). The audience and musicians seemed to enjoy the piece. Two years later, I made the transcription for symphonic wind band and performed the concerto again, but this time at my final master recital.

Although the audience liked the piece once again, it took me some years until I picked up the piece again. In the year 2011, saxophonist Pieter Pellens got the opportunity to play solo with the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides. Since he was looking for repertoire, he asked to play my concerto. Of course I immediately fell in love with the idea to breathe new life into the concerto, but since I considered the piece as a "youth work” I decided to completely rewrite the piece. Eventually, I spent two months writing my Concerto Comenia.

Concerto Comenia is dedicated to my former teacher Frank Commeene. The title is based on a combination of the names "Commeene" and “J.A. Comenius” (1592-1670), a Czech philosopher who is considered to be the founder of modern pedagogy. It is a spectacular and polyvalent concerto in four movements which tries to symbolize the combination of energy and lyricism, two important musical values which Frank Commeene tried to teach me.

The first movement is a slow introduction presenting the principal theme and its motif in both its orchestral form and the soloist’s aspect. The second movement develops in a virtuoso way its own theme “Presto con Spirito”, introduced by triplet motifs emanating from the principal theme; this theme is only briefly interrupted by the Comenia motif. A climax is slowly being built up and leads to a cadenza for the soloist recapitulating all the material heard up to now. The third movement starts again with a variant on the orchestral Comenia motif which announces a new theme based on quiet fourths. It also leads to a climax and then quenches and concludes for the time being the orchestral variant of Comenia which is combined later with material of the second movement. The fourth movement starts right away with a new thematic material, but soon gives way to the Comenia motif. Thematic material from the preceding movements prepares the finale. The concerto concludes with a whirling finale and a symbolic top note by the soloist. Concerto Comenia was premiered by the soloist Pieter Pellens and the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides, Yves Segers conducting, at Leopoldsburg on December 1, 2011.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer