The original version of this work, Faustus: A SaxOpera, for alto saxophone and large wind ensemble, was inspired by Gertrude Stein’s libretto Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights. The present version is a reimagining of Acts I, II and IV of the SaxOpera for saxophone, guitar, and piano.
The work is inspired by Gertrude Stein’s magnificent libretto on the Faust myth, ‘Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights”. The saxophone personifies and brings life to the principal characters, delineating the individuality of each by stylistic means, while the guitar and piano establish the emotional and physical atmosphere of the Steinian world. At certain passages, the music articulates the precise rhythm of Stein’s prose.
It is not necessary to know the narrative of the SaxOpera to follow and enjoy the music, any more than it is for Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night, or Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel . But in each case the story can add an extra imaginative dimension.