Saskatchewan legend

Murray Adaskin
Composition Date: 1959
Revision Date: 1961
Duration: 00:13:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 3 x Flute
  • 2 x Oboe
  • 2 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bassoon
  • 2 x Horn
  • 3 x Trumpet
  • 3 x Trombone
  • 1 x Tuba
  • 1 x Timpani
  • 1 x Percussion
  • 1 x Unspecified bowed strings
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Full orchestra
Programme Note:
Commissioned by the University of Saskatchewan and performed in September 1959 by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra to mark the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of its opening in September 1909 when Saskatchewan as a province was only four years old. The work was conducted by the composer, Murray Adaskin, Professor of Music at the University.

Saskatchewan, the middle province of the western prairies of Canada, extends north from the borders of Montana and North Dakota in the United States, 760 miles to the Northwest Territories. In area it is larger than either France or Germany and more than twice as large as the British Isles. The name Saskatchewan was taken from the Creen Indian tribe language meaning "swift current" or "rapid river".

Some of the thematic material was taken from two Saskatchewan folk songs, Desjarlais' Reel and the Riel Song. Louis Riel was the controversial figure who was hanged for treason for inciting and leading half-breeds, Indians, French traders and trappers in an ill-fated rebellion. This fate made him a popular subject in the Folk Songs composed in the final decades of the Northwest Territories which were reorganized in 1905 to constitute the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Although the title might indicate "program music", such is not the case. It is a purely abstract musical legend.

Premiere Information:
Sept. 1959, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1100 A221sa
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • July 19, 1989
  • Type:
  • Print-music, published
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (43 p.) ;
    43 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Duration: ca. 13:00
    Commissioned by the University of Saskatchewan for its 50th anniversary.
    Written in 1959.
    3(picc)221/2331/timp, perc/strings.
    Suitable for youth & community orchestras.

    University of Saskatchewan
    University of Saskatchewan
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    Published by Counterpoint Music Library Services


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Saskatchewan legend
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