Qing Feng

Contemporary, World/Ethnic
An imaginative and colourful evocation of eastern “energies” based on the Chinese four celestial animals.
Wood, Nigel
Bb Sax & Marimba
11 minutes
8, 9



“Qing Feng” is dedicated to Sarah James and was written for her and percussionist Magdalena Vries (runner up and winner respectively of the 2001 Australian Music Competition), and was given its UK premiere in the South Bank Purcell Room, in 2003.

The work has a strongly narrative feel (though the composer provides no programme), and is a concert item which would suit two talented and imaginative players. It is in four short movements:

  1. East. Domain of the Green Dragon.
    The movement opens with the soprano playing on the mouthpiece alone; it then moves forward positively, making colourful use of the eastern pentatonic scale.
  2. West. Domain of the White Tiger.
    The marimba launches this section, and the saxophone picks up its energetic, exciting motifs, before presenting a more sustained melody.
  3. North. Domain of the Black Turtle.
    The Black Turtle has “nurturing energy”, represented by a slow saxophone song using more western harmonies, with the pulsating marimba providing the momentum.
  4. South. Domain of the Red Phoenix.
    Opening with a playful dialogue between soprano and marimba, this movement’s rapid mood shifts are mirrored in the special techniques required of the saxophone (flutter tongueing, subtone etc). Fiery demi-semiquavers surge up and down the saxophone, bringing the work to an abrupt close.

The E-Edition PDF bundle comes with the following parts:

Bb Saxophone

“Qing Feng” is also available in hard-copy from June Emerson Wind Music.


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