David Noon- Ars Nova

David Noon is one of the country's most played contemporary composers. Born of Pennsylvania Dutch, Welsh and American Indian heritage in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on 23 July 1946, he began playing the clarinet at the age of eight and later he played the bassoon, flute, piccolo and piano. He received his undergraduate degree at Pomona College, an M.A. in musicology at N.Y.U. and an M.M.A. and D.M.A. in composition from Yale University. His teachers have included Karl Kohn, Darius Milhaud, Charles Jones, Yehudi Wyner and Mario Davidovsky. He has received a Fulbright Fellow in 1972 and was composer-in- residence at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos New Mexico in 1976. Noon's other works for saxophone include Hymn Variations (1993) for soprano saxophone, violin, cello and piano, Partita op. 103-B (1989) for soprano saxophone and guitar, and Coda op. 39 (1976) for SATB saxophone quartet. Dr. Noon is currently Chairman of the Music History Department and Chairman of the composition Faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

In writing Ars Nova, op. 67, Noon calls upon the lyric and dramatic qualities of the soprano saxophone. He contrasts music of a sacred setting to that of a vernacular or popular background The evocative quietness and chilling, angular austerity of the first movement is contrasted by dance motifs and exuberant rhythms of the second movement. The work ends with a quiet reference to the first movement.

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