The Last Flight of Saint-Ex for Sax Quartet/Sax Orch./Oboe + strings


Sax Quartet Recording – 6:30 min.
Ben Carey – soprano sax
James Nightingale – alto sax
Andrew Smith – tenor sax
Nathan Henshaw – baritone sax

June 2018
for Saxophone Orchestra c. 9 min.

Completely recomposed and transformed into a new work of its own: new passages and more slap-tongue to create a whole new saxophone orchestra sound!
Will be published and available by the Australian Music Centre following the premiere at the World Sax Congress in Croatia, in July 2018.
More details soon.

Concert Program Note – Last Flight of Saint-Ex

Last Flight of Saint-Ex was originally composed in 2008 for oboe and string quartet for a performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellowship players. A new recomposed version for saxophone orchestra has been transformed into a new work of its own, showcasing the virtuosic tonal possibilities that the saxophone orchestra can create. Last Flight of Saint-Ex will be premiered by the Australasian Saxophone Orchestra for a premiere performance at the 2018 World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. A clarinet, cello and piano adaption will also soon be released on Charisma’s upcoming CD – Sydney’s leading chamber ensemble dedicated to new music.

Last Flight of Saint-Ex is inspired by the famous French writer and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), also known as Saint-Ex – author of the international bestseller Le Petit Prince – whose plane was likely shot down by a young German pilot in 1944 in the South of France. In 2004, the wreckage of a plane was pulled from the Mediterranean near the southern France city of Marseille and identified as Saint-Exupéry’s. Though evidence indicates that he had likely been shot down, the true cause of his death remains unknown.

A fast, pulsating, rhythmic style governs this work. A feeling of urgency and unrest is created by complex syncopated rhythms, irregular metres and erratic dynamic changes, exploring the technical capabilities of the whole ensemble. In the slow middle section, a feeling of sadness, pathos and grief is conveyed by a haunting soothing solo. In the new saxophone orchestra version slap-tongue motivic figures alongside thick rippling trill and chordal textural sound mass effects build to a loud and dramatic climax.

Available for:

  • NEW Saxophone Orchestra
  • saxophone quartet
  • clarinet, cello & piano
  • oboe & string quartet


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