Saxophone quartet, organist add spice to KSO

Works reviewed: 
Concerto in D Major, Antonio Vivaldi
Concertino for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra, Pierre Max Dubois
Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo, MI
Jan 19 2002
By: 
C.J. Gianakaris

If variety is the spice of life, Friday night's program by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra provided the audience at Miller Auditorium a highly seasoned musical experience. The program proved bracing and thoroughly enjoyable. Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin was... Two selections featured the Amherst Saxophone Quartet as guest artists. Currently in residency at the University of Buffalo, the ensemble has made many friends for the saxophone, an instrument even now rarely found in symphonic orchestras. The quartet includes Susan Fancher, Russ Carere, Stephen Rosenthal and Harry Fackelman. Antonio Vivaldi's "Concerto in D Major," originally using violin soloists, on this occasion featured the saxophone quartet. At first, the previously unheard amalgam of sound was unusual yet not at all unpleasant. And when the group's second selection was heard, Pierre Dubois's Concertino for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra, the sonorities seemed more familiar, even enticing. Dubois's piece in fact can be said to intrigue, thanks to fresh sounds and tonal harmonies distantly reminiscent of Gershwin when jaunty and Mahler when grandiose. Closing Friday's program was a splendid rendering...