vigor
Op. 24 (2019) for saxophone trio (SaB)

Click here to view the score.

UPDATE: Marwin, Davis Hale, and Tyler Schaefers were all set to premiere VIGOR at Marwin's senior recital at Illinois State University on April 5, 2020. Unfortunately, everyone's lives were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Marwin's recital was among the many, many events that were cancelled. Undeterred, and with the assistance of Dr. Paul Nolen, Marwin, Davis, and Tyler recorded their own parts remotely and assembled them into a studio recording! Please enjoy the digital premiere of VIGOR!

Davis Hale, soprano sax

Tyler Schaefers, alto sax

Marwin Noel Esguerra, baritone sax

VIGOR was commissioned by my friend and colleague Marwin Esguerra to capture the essence of his musical journey in pursuing both saxophone and music therapy. In particular, the piece focuses on the concept of moving forward through all of life's difficulties, especially when trying to strike a perfect balance between two disciplines. Throughout VIGOR, the players gain more and more confidence as the music becomes increasingly intense and forward-oriented, representing one's mental state through continued learning and success. Several phrases contain rather virtuosic gestures, channeling the discipline of a performance degree in saxophone. Additionally, the harmony progresses from a more dissonant and tonally vague world towards a much more recognizeable form of jazz-tinted tonality in a quest for a more "perfect" harmony in life.

The fundamental motive of VIGOR, B-A-A-E, stems from the word BALANCE, with the C removed to prevent the familiar triadic sound from immediately dominating the harmonic language of the piece. Much of the material in VIGOR develops from that motive, and its plentiful and varied transformations reflect an equally varied personal journey. Finally, the piece concludes with a joyous celebration of achieving a personal balance and consistently being able to excel in one's profession. —BJH

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