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Psathas - Omnifenix

John Psathas



Number of percussion players: 1

Total number of players: 2 and orchestra


2 Flutes (both doubling piccolo)

2 Oboes

2 Clarinets in Bb (optional: clarinet I doubling clarinet in Eb)

2 Bassoons

4 Horns in F

3 Trumpets in Bb

2 Tenor Trombones

Bass Trombone


Timpani (4 Drums)

Percussion (3 players - Bass Drum, Tam-tam, Triangle, Vibraphone, Windchimes, Tubular Bells, Cowbell,

2 Stations, each with 4 tom toms, snare drum (high), crash cymbal

Solo Tenor Saxophone

Drum Kit


Approximate time: 15 min.


Formerly entitled Saxophone Concerto.


This is an unusual concerto in that the majority of the two concertante parts consist of instructions for directed improvisation. Omnifenix was written for the particular skills of legendary tenor player Michael Brecker. In the words of a reviewer present at the premiere in Bologna, Italy, in August 2000, it ‘achieves a compelling synthesis of the jazz and art music streams, and allows plenty of space for the individuality of the saxophone soloist to shine. The drum set player functions as a translator, both reinforcing the bottom end of the orchestra as well as responding to the soloist.’


Annotated by Nicholas White

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