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Next Sunday a great day for sax

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Alto saxophonist Patrick Posey has his work cut out for him on June 10.

In the morning Posey is playing two works with pianist Pamela Pyle — Erwin Schulhoff’s Hot-Sonata and Edvard Moritz’s Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano.

“I always wanted to perform the Schulhoff and I found this a good opportunity, especially because of Pamela Pyle,” he said in a phone interview from New York City.

“The title, ‘Hot-Sonata,’ refers to jazz. It was written in 1930 and Schulhoff was working in Berlin. Jazz had come over in the ’20s but because of the politics of the time there were regulations as to how much jazz could be performed.

“Jazz was creeping in and the highbrow culture didn’t want it to,” Posey added.

He said the piece sounds “rickety, definitely Kurt Weill-ian. It sounds like his ‘Threepenny Opera.’ … There are a lot of dance rhythms throughout the piece, a lot of rhythmic interplay between piano and sax in ways that are differently nuanced than what you might hear in a sonata by Brahms.”

Moritz wrote his sonata in 1939 after he had fled to the United States from Nazi Germany. Schulhoff died of tuberculosis in a Nazi concentration camp.

The sonatas are part of the Sunday Chatter program at The Kosmos that also includes Silver City slam poet Sam Castello.

In the early evening as part of the Chatter Cabaret at the Hotel Andaluz, Posey will be part of the ensemble playing Moritz’s work for alto saxophone and string quartet and Darius Milhaud’s famous 1923 work “Creation du Monde.”

In searching for the Moritz quintet Posey tracked down the sheet music for it to the archive of a musical instrument museum in Vermilion, S.D., and he came across the composer’s sonata.

Posey said the Milhaud has experienced several transformations. He had originally written the “Creation” for a chamber orchestra.

“Then instead of a viola, he put an alto sax in the string section. He took the orchestral piece to make a suite for string quartet and piano,” Posey said.

Someone else later arranged it with the sax in and the viola out, but added bass and percussion, he said.

It is that rearrangement that he and the Chatter Ensemble will perform.

Posey is winding up as director of Orchestra Activities and Planning at the Juilliard School. In September he will become vice president of artistic planning and educational programs at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Between 2001 and 2003 Posey was a visiting professor of saxophone at the University of New Mexico and performed with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Rahim AlHaj.

These are details of the the two June 10 Chatter events:

♦ Sunday Chatter, 10:30 a.m. at The Kosmos, 1715 Fifth NW. $15 general public, $9 for those 30 and under, $5 those under 12 at the door.

♦ Chatter Chamber, 5 p.m. Hotel Andaluz, 125 Second NW. $20 general public. Tickets available in advance at www.brownpapertickets.com or at the door.

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