Sample from Andrew Tweed's album, "Spiritualise".

Cries of the Stentor

A technically and emotionally challenging fantasia – vital repertoire for the soprano.
Wood, Nigel
Bb Sax & Piano
6 minutes
8, 9



Cries of the Stentor is dedicated to the memory of Anthony Raisbeck.

From the composer:  The original version of this work was written for soprano sax and piano and premiered by saxophonist Gerard McChrystal and pianist Kathryn Page at the Purcell Room in 1995.  I chose the soprano as I am a soprano player myself and wanted to exploit its vivid upper register, vocal-like sonorities and its intrinsic virtuosity, although primarily as a vehicle for its expressive qualities rather than mere technical display. “Stentor” (a loud-voiced herald in ancient times of war) appropriately depicts the great emotional turmoil I was experiencing at the time of writing this piece.

The E-Edition PDF bundle includes a Bb saxophone part and piano accompaniment.

“Cries of the Stentor” is included in the following exam syllabi:


Please check the latest exam syllabi for updates and amendments.

“Cries of the Stentor” is also available in hard-copy from June Emerson Wind Music.

6 reviews for Cries of the Stentor

  1. tom.saxtet

    Wow! This is a challenge to any saxophone player. This piece a real showcase for the capabilities of the soprano saxophone. Nigel Wood is probably a saxophone virtuoso himself, and his writing shows that knows his instrument intimately. The arpeggios in the cadenza are very impressive to any listener, but these runs are possible to execute if you know a little about alterative fingerings on the instrument. The interplay between piano and saxophone is well balanced, but very busy, and at a certain point (I don’t know where) I would have appreciated a more cantabile-like section. This is, however, my own, subjective reaction, and I must say that I’m very impressed. This is also very passionate music that goes beyond the virtuoso showpiece.
    Harald Gundhus, Scorch reviewer

  2. tom.saxtet

    John Barker is an astonishingly accomplished saxophonist. Whether on alto or soprano, there appears to be no limit to his technique. He and Timothy Sidford were the stars of the evening, in turn charming and alarming in Nigel Wood’s Cries of the Stentor and suave and sophisticated in Roger Boutry’s Divertimento.
    Stephen Pritchard, The Observer, Sunday 26 September 2004

  3. tom.saxtet

    Cries of the Stentor is a substantial composition and can also be played on tenor or flute if wished. The leaping theme at the start is developed in various ways throughout the piece, with some virtuosic writing in places. A good work, which should become standard repertoire.
    Clarinet & Saxophone Society Magazine, Spring 1995

  4. tom.saxtet

    A beautifully written and deeply-felt work. Both the soprano saxophone and piano writing are fully idiomatic (I am trusting the composer here as to the technical demands made on the former). Clearly not a work for the faint-hearted, but for those blessed with the necessary stamina and interpretative skills this would be a winner!
    James Dickenson, Scorch reviewer

  5. tom.saxtet

    I happened upon this score randomly. Wow! I love it. The only thing I wondered about was the length of the music after the cadenza. Must have been some pretty hot players that premiered this!
    Daniel Birns, Scorch Reviewer

  6. tom.saxtet

    Pianist’s perspective: This piece is a well-balanced partnership between piano and saxophone. The two instruments start by echoing one another, and as the piece progresses they take turns at accompanying, playing solo and sometimes playing ‘against’ each other, setting up interesting counter-rhythms. As a pianist I can report that the piano part lies very well under the fingers, despite its apparent complexity. I really enjoyed not being relegated to playing the supporting role. It’s a challenging and rewarding work, both to play and to listen to.
    Daniella Acker, Scorch reviewer

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