Marsha, Salvatore Andolina

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Marsha, Salvatore Andolina
Year of Composition:     Composed for the ASQ

Review

Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY)
Tuesday, March 7, 1995
Quartet offers a little something for all
Lynna Sedlak

The Amherst Saxophone Quartet presented a diverse concert Monday. It was a little like the old prescription for a bride: something old, something new, etc.

The something new included two premiere performances. "Enclosed Dream," written for the quartet by saxophonist Oliver Lake, is a diffuse work linked by a recurring dreamlike interlude. Lake's jazz connections are apparent in both rhythms and harmonies. Solo sections resembling improvisations were well played. Particularly engaging was a bluesy middle, but the over-all direction of the work was not too clear.

The other premiere was not only new but, in a sense, borrowed. Quartet member Harry Fackelman transcribed a theme from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet." It is the section of the ballet where the Capulets and the Montagues strut and posture about the stage. It works very well in this setting. The bouncy melody translates to the saxophone, and the range of the melody allows for a good display of the excellent balance within this quartet.

"Marsha," a new setting by quartet member Salvatore Andolina of his own work, is a pleasant melody which showcased the considerable ability of the soprano saxophonist. Originally written for keyboard and jazz band, the quartet arrangement retains that feel.

Something old included the opening "Sarabande" by J.S. Bach. It was well sustained and subtly ornamented. A good deal newer, but none the less previously played, was the "Quartour pour Saxophones" by Pierre Max Dubois. From the jaunty French syncopation of the overture, into a fugal lament, a very busy "Spirituoso," and concluding with a Presto merry chase, it is charming. It demonstrates well both the technical and aesthetic virtues of this quartet while delighting the listener.

The evening concluded with a group of rags. This is one of the hallmarks of the Amherst Quartet. They were, as always, well played.

Romeo and Juliet Suite #2, Sergei Prokofiev
Marsha, Salvatore Andolina
Quatuor pour Saxophones (1956), Pierre Max Dubois
Enclosed Dream (1994), Oliver Lake
Quartet offers a little something for all