AMHERST SAXOPHONE QUARTET
ALEC WILDER was born in Rochester, New York on February 16, 1907. He studied composition with Herbert Inch and Edward Royce. Wilder was best known for his work in New York City as a composer of music for the theater, radio, and films. He wrote popular songs and arranged music for Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, and others. He was also a prolific composer of "concert music," especially for wind instruments. Most of his serious compositions, in particular his chamber music, are in an affable, hedonistic, and ingratiating style, according to Baker. The SAXOPHONE QUARTET fits this characterization perfectly.
"The Wilder QUARTET was purchased in late 1980 as part of the continuous process of upgrading our library. Our first official performance of this work occurred on November 4, 1981. The period between the purchase and the' performance began with an argument within the quartet which took more than a year to resolve. Our initial reading of the work brought out numerous harmonic and melodic peculiarities which were the subject of much heated discussion. I felt some of this manuscript was not what the composer had originally intended. After much discussion and further rehearsing it was decided to try to get a score. Through the courtesy of Bruce Creditor, the general manager of Margun Music, Inc., we received a photocopy of the original pencil score. In spite of the difficulty in reading the copy, a great many questions were answered, mostly in the realm of transpositional discrepancies from score to parts. In a few instances I felt it was necessary to actually change some pitches because they were either indecipherable or did not make harmonic sense. The end result of all this editing was over ISO changes in the four saxophone parts. These changes were made in the hopes of recovering and maintaining the spirit, intent, and integrity of the original work. The QUARTET certainly has become one of our favorite works and will always hold a respected position in our repertoire." —Dr. Michael D. Nascimben
ROBERT MOLS, a native of Buffalo, New York, attended the Eastman School of Music where he obtained his Ph.D. degree and performance certificate on flute. At Eastman, he studied composition with Howard Hanson and Wayne Barlow. He also did advanced study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. In 1953 he joined the faculty at the University of Buffalo as head of the theoretical and instrumental divisions.
As a composer and recipient of grants and commissions, his compositions have received numerous performances in this country and abroad, including performances by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Several works for flute, including "Excursion" for flute choir, were recently published by the Franzipani Press.
"Having written many dance band arrangements as a saxophonist-clarinetist during my early professional career, I was truly excited when asked by the Amherst Saxophone Quartet to write a concert piece for them. Knowing each of the players personally, their exceptional skills and musicianship, and their great ensemble, I knew what sort of piece I wanted to compose — lyric, expressive, partially jazzy, innovative, and with some special effects and blends. All of these elements were to be linked or 'chained' together to form one continuous through-composed movement in three basic sections — hence, ENCHAINMENT." —Robert Mols
STEPHEN PARISI was born on November 11, 1955 in Buffalo, New York to music-loving parents who started him on piano at the age of seven. At age fifteen, he became a student of Ann Moot, who was very inspirational both musically and creatively. His ambition to become a composer led him to the State University of New York at Buffalo on full scholarship. He studied composition with Leo Smit and has obtained a Masters of Fine Arts in Music degree. Mr. Parisi currently divides his time between teaching, performing and composing. He lives in Grand Island, New York with his wife and daughter.
INTRODUCTION AND CAPRICCIO
The INTRODUCTION opens choral-like in nature and is transformed into a dialogue between soprano and alto saxophones leading to a sonorous climax. The movement returns to the long lyrical phrases and choral texture of the opening measures.
The CAPRICCIO is a juxtaposition of themes or episodes of various kinds which follow one another. This wide variety of textures give the piece the aspect of caprice from which its name is derived.
"I feel my purpose or goal as a composer is to arouse and use the listeners' stream of consciousness from the first note to the last, while at the same time exemplifying some type of musical structure." —Stephen Parisi
PAUL CRESTON was born on October 10, 1906, in New York City, of Italian parentage. Completely self-taught in composition and orchestration, he has contributed a full range of music with over 120 major works: piano pieces, songs, chamber music for various instrumental combinations, choral works, cantatas, an oratorio, ten symphonic band works, and over 35 orchestral works which include six symphonies and 15 concertos.
His numerous awards and honors include: Music Critics' Circle Award and First Prize in the Paris International Referendum of 1952 for his Symphony No.1; National Institute of Arts and Letters award; two Citations of Honor from the National Association for American Composers and Conductors; and two Guggenheim Fellowships. In 1960 he received a State Department grant as American Specialist in Israel and Turkey.
SUITE FOR SAXOPHONE QUARTET
The SUITE was composed in 1979 and premiered the same year by the Swiss Saxophone Quartet at the Saxophone Congress held in Chicago. The work is his fifth and latest for Saxophone. The other four are: SUITE, Op.6 - Saxophone and Piano, SONATA, Op. 19 - Saxophone and Piano, CONCERTO, Op. 26 - Saxophone and Orchestra or Symphony Band, and RHAPSODIE, Op. 108 - Saxophone and Organ or Piano.
The SUITE FOR SAXOPHONE QUARTET is vintage Creston and confirms his acknowledged love of the instrument. The unusual "alert" rhythms, sensuous lyricism, rich harmonies, and structural solidity which have been the hallmark of Creston's style, are constantly in evidence. His clear understanding of the instrument's technique was gained from his association with saxophonist Cecil Leeson as pianist for his recitals, and for whom he wrote the first three works for the instrument.
AMHERST SAXOPHONE QUARTET
The AMHERST SAXOPHONE QUARTET has performed in the United States from coast to coast, has been broadcast on national radio on numerous occasions, and is regularly heard throughout the world on Voice of America. The group was formed in 1978 and continues with the original members. It has played more than 50 concerts a year since 1981. The New York Times called the first of the Quartet's Carnegie Hall concerts "first rate in every respect."
The Amherst Quartet performs the standard works composed for saxophone quartet. In addition to this large repertoire, it has developed a unique library of manuscripts which includes many commissions and also music of the Baroque era, Jazz, Avant Garde, and Ragtime. The group's close association with renowned composer-pianist Eubie Blake resulted in a recording of his delightful rags.
Along with a busy chamber music schedule, the ASQ has appeared as guest soloist with orchestras including both the Rochester and Buffalo Philharmonics.
SALVATORE ANDOLINA, soprano, studied saxophone with Edward Yadzinski and John Sedola and clarinet with James Pyne and Stanley Hasty. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music from the State University of New York at Buffalo which he attended on an Arts Foundation scholarship. Mr. Ao/iolina was bass clarinet/saxophonist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for the 1978-79 season, clarinetist with that orchestra for the 1983-84 season, and has performed with the Artpark Orchestra.
MICHAEL NASCIMBEN, alto, studied saxophone with Larry Teal and Sigurd Rascher. He received both Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Michigan. Dr. Nascimben has served on the faculties of the University of Texas at Austin and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has performed with the Detroit Symphony, Austin Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and was a founding member of the West Point Saxophone Quartet. Dr. Nascimben is an Artist/Clinician with the Selmer Saxophone Company.
STEPHEN ROSENTHAL, tenor, studied saxophone with Edward Yadzinski and John Sedola, and clarinet with James Pyne. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Performance from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Mr. Rosenthal has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Empire State Wind Ensemble.
HARRY FACKELMAN, baritone, studied saxophone with Edward Yadzinski and clarinet with Allen Sigel. He received a Master of Fine Arts in Music from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Mr. Fackelman has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Empire State Wind Ensemble.
THIS RECORDING PROJECT IS SUPPORTED BY A GRANT FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.
Executive Producer: Vincent S. Morene
Recorded in Christ the King Chapel at Canisius College, Buffalo, NY
Recording Engineer: Frederick A. Betschen Jr., Assistant Engineer: Mark J. Morette
Mastering: The Groove Shop, Engineer: Bob Grotke
Album Design: Mary Lu Littlefield
Photography: Mary Fote, Joe Saccomanno
Type: Printing Prep