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World Premiere of Pierre Jalbert's Sweet and Doleful Timbres at Chamber Music Northwest

Jul. 15, 2021

Saxophonist Timothy McAllister and guitarist Jason Vieux performed the world premiere of Pierre Jalbert's Sweet and Doleful Timbres on July 17 with an additional performance on July 18. The work was co-commissioned by Chamber Music Northwest, the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, and String Theory at the Hunter.

The composer notes:

"Last year when Soovin Kim approached me about writing a work for saxophone and guitar, I immediately thought of the possibilities for this combination of instruments: the saxophone, with its potential for long lyrical lines, and the guitar, with its ability to create beautiful harmonic backgrounds as well as act as a soloist...there is a melancholy characteristic to each instrument's sound; thus the title Sweet and Doleful Timbres.

The piece has three contrasting movements. The first movement presents long, lyrical lines in the saxophone, building and receding throughout. The guitar provides rhythmic and harmonic background, but occasionally moves into the foreground as soloist. The second movement is more experimental in nature and features high harmonics in the guitar (bell-like pure tones). The third movement is fast-paced, in constant motion. It features constantly changing meters, with rhythmic and imitative motives passed between the instruments.

On July 5, Min Kwon premiered Pierre Jalbert's Endeavor (Variations on America the Beautiful), which was composed as part of her "America/Beautiful" project. Pierre Jalbert notes:

"Endeavor was written for pianist Min Kwon as part of her America The Beautiful project. Scherzo-like, playful, and dramatic, this variation uses the initial falling third in the "America the Beautiful" melody and surrounds it with skittering, high register figures, while we hear the melody in high, long tones. This eventually builds into more strident and rich chords in the meatier middle and low register, with the theme apparent but transformed. The natural landscapes of America will always be beautiful, despite our failings and our struggles to unite, even in times of crisis, as we endeavor to form a more perfect union. Many thanks to Min Kwon for this wonderful project."

To learn more about Pierre Jalbert, visit:

Pierre Jalbert
Sweet and Doleful Timbres (2021)
for soprano saxophone and guitar

Endeavor (Variations on America the Beautiful) (2021)
for solo piano