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Call of the Wild: Concerto
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Interested in exploring how to merge the tenor saxophone with a full symphonic orchestra? This product provides you with the complete PDF score of the thrilling Tenor Saxophone Concerto, 'Call of the Wild'. #Saxophone #Concerto #Orchestra
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Call of the Wild

Performance Notes, Articles, Reviews, John's Messages

Project Details

Call of the Wild

Saxophone Concerto

Commissioner: Orchestra Wellington and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Instrumentation: sax solo + 2(pic:pic).2.(ca).2(bcl).2(cbsn) / 4.3(pic).3.1 / timp.4perc / str

Premiered by Adam Page and Orchestra Wellington conducted by Marc Taddei on July 17, 2021 at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand

Difficulty Level:
Instrument Tags:
Tenor Saxophone
Mixed Percussion

Programme Note:

I She Stands at the Edge of the Incomprehensible (11:30)

II He Can Worship It Without Believing It (7:00)

III Tramontane (6:45)

Call of the Wild is inspired by the last three generations of my family: all travellers and nomads.

Every one of my grandparents and great-grandparents were survivors of the forced marches instigated by the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey in the early 1920s. After resettling in Greece and enduring a second world war - followed immediately by an equally brutal civil war – their children (my parents) travelled unimaginably far away from that endless devastation and upheaval. From Athens and Thessaloniki, to Taumarunui.

Growing up in small-town New Zealand, experiencing daily, normalized xenophobia and racism, as well as religious mistreatment, my sister and I understood at an early age what it meant to be tramontane (from the other side of the mountains); outsiders. Luckily, this experience empowered us to overcome; it energized us to fight for what we needed in life. The third movement of Call of the Wild is a depiction of taking that nomadic gypsy impulse and energy further, even into space one day ...

The first movement is inspired by my mother, who always seemed to be on the verge of breaking out into a kind of greatness. Her long, slow decline into the fog of slowly forgetting is wholly outweighed in our memories by her positive, irresistible love of life.

The second movement is inspired by my father, who lost his own father while still in the womb. Adopted out to a relative, and growing up an outsider to even his closest family, he demonstrated from the youngest age a staggering force of will to be independent, strong for others, and inflexible in his principles of decency and fairness. The price of living thus, especially in ones twilight years, can be devastating.

With such continuous migration in our family's most recent century, is it any wonder our children are now hearing the call of the wild and talking of living abroad? Once the momentum starts, like a ball rolling downhill, it's near impossible to stop.

John Psathas

Full Instrumentation


2 Flutes (both dbl. Picc.)

2 Oboes (2. dbl. Cor Angl.)

2 Bb Clarinets (2. dbl. Bass Clar.)

2 Bassoons (2. dbl. Contra.)

4 Horns

3 C Trumpets (1. dbl. Piccolo Tpt)

2 Trombones

Bass Trombone


4 Percussion (see below)


Solo Saxophone (amplification advised)


Percussion Section:

Player 1: Bendir, Vibraphone, Hi-Hat, Suspended Crash Cymbal (2 or 3), and 4 Toms

Player 2: Taiko Drum, Vibraphone, Snare, Hi-Hat, 1 med Tom, and Crash Cymbals (2 or 3)

Player 3: Hi-Hat station, Tam Tam, Tubular bell (1), Bass Drum, and Kick Drum (hand beater)

Player 4: Vibraphone, Shekere, Tam Tam, Whip, Piatti, Suspended Cymbal, and Bass Drum (shared)

Other Resources

Adam Page Interview with RNZ Concert

Article by Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Interview with Orchestra Wellington

Review by Middle C