Passion Canticle (2002) for saxophone was written for and is dedicated to Paul Wehage and wasinspired by his playing. The work is a ceremonial one, a reflection on the liturgy, ritual, andsignificance of Good Friday. It is designed to be played in, and take advantage of, the acousticalaspects of a highly reverberant space, preferably a church.The plainchant tract for Good Friday (Domine exaudi) is at the heart of the composition and thework exists in a tonal context connected to that chant. PERFORMANCE NOTES: The soprano saxophone player also doubles with a single tubular
bell (D). A second player is not needed -- nor should one be used.
The atmosphere of this work is a crucial element. In particular, the extremely slow tempos
throughout are very important. Fermatas should be always long. Measures of rest marked with
fermatas must also always be long -- this is important to the role that reverberation plays in the
The multiphonic that occurs in the middle of the work should be the same multiphonic both
times it appears. It should be as loud, high, and "hideous" in sound as possible.